Jesse Marsh drawing for a Tarzan coloring book, circa early 1950s.
An exciting artifact popped up on Golden Age Comic Book Stories yesterday: The only interview with Jesse Marsh published (and perhaps the only one conducted?) in his lifetime. It’s from a 1965 issue of ERB-Dom. Most of this information has been absorbed into his biography, but I didn’t know that he worked on The Flintstones! I’ve been looking for this interview for a long, long time and didn’t even get it before Art in Time went to press. Alas. Anyhow, here it is. Enjoy.
A few odds and ends here. I’m sure I’m the last person to know this, but wow, Dark Horse is releasing the first volume of the Jesse Marsh Tarzan series now! His work has an incredible arc to it, from early drawings that look carved from stone to mid-period, more fluid pen lines, to his last scratchy, near-abstract images that Russ Manning claimed was due to his declining eyesight. He was a great artist, and the Tarzan work is among my favorite work of his. There’s a great Jesse Marsh web site here from which I stole the gorgeous image above. Marsh will be in the second Art Out of Time, which I should be working on instead of doing this.
Also, been thinking about Victor Moscoso lately for another project, and friend Norman pointed out an amazing series of animated shorts Moscoso made sometime in the late 60s or early 70s. What I love about these is how it takes him out of psychedelia and suddenly he seems wonderfully in line with drawers like Milton Glaser and Heinz Edelmann. He had the same transformative impulses and shared with Edelmann a pen line of such urgency and clarity that it’s impossible to look away. It’s a sharpness — a tiny bit of grumpiness. Moscoso was certainly the best colorist and overall designer of his S.F. (and perhaps North America in general) contemporaries, but people sometime forget about that wicked penline. The thing that stood out for me the most in the recent Crumb show in Philadelphia was, in fact, the original jam pages Moscoso worked on. Where everyone else looks like they’re carefully cartooning a gag, Moscoso’s marks come on like brush-fire — just decimating the very formidable competition. Just brutal and immediate and delineating modern-psych design forms. Anyhow, enjoy these little films. I don’t know much about them but maybe someone can fill us in in the comments.