Kara and I had fun seeing the new show of Seth art at the RICA Gallery here in Guelph last night. We also hung out with some other Seth fans and art buyers after the preview/launch and I was really amazed at the diverse group of people who are into his work. Many have come to him through his "non-comics" paintings and sculptures and his gallery agent Renann Isaacs should take a lot of the credit for turning these folks on to the work and hustling to develop a strong local market (although there were collectors from New York and Toronto on hand and I suspect some long-distance/overseas sales as well). I talked to people who are not comics nerds and who couldn't tell an issue of The Comics Journal from Wizard Magazine from Bubbles (in one discussion about contemporary Canadian figurative painters working in a realist style like Kent Monkman and Atilla Lukacs, the idea of studio assistants came up which led to a discussion of comic book assembly-line production techniques, ghost artists, and manga studios, and I had to bite my tongue a bit when the fellow I was talking to said something like, "Is that how Stan Lee drew his comics?"). Wisely, Renann and Seth created a show of small pictures, priced to sell. They are fun little things, very Seth-y, but as the artist admitted, not much thought went into the titles or artist statement (I'm attaching the local news article for some choice Seth quotes). Which is all to say, a good time was had by all. I think the entire show is going to sell out: most of the paintings were sold by the second night, and the show runs until December 23. I didn't take any pictures, so I'm stealing the photos from Renann's Facebook feed for those who aren't friends with her.
Sunday, November 26, 2023
Wednesday, August 02, 2023
Dave Sim writing in CANAR #1, 1972:
"KIRBY VIEW --This is to serve as a kind of response to Rick Seiler's Kirby 'opinionations' in this same issue.
I maintain that Kirby has little or no talent. His writing disgusts me even more than the work of early Gerry Conway. His creations seem to be of less than human quality. He is at his best designing a fight sequence, and he knows it. Thus, most of his books become little more than twenty odd pages of villains getting their heads caved in while the hero rants and raves over his cause with no emotion at all. Kirby's characters never seem to come alive. One cannot picture ever seeing an human qualities in Orion. And don't mistake human qualities for qualities found in other Kirby creations (Black Bolt, Silver Surfer, etc.) for they are equally monotonous in their steadfast gazes and intent close-mouthed convictions.
The Fourth World 'epics' failed for one reason. None of the books had anything that could rationally be called a uniting force. What they amounted to was a mish-mash of characters who exist for battle, use the Earth as a battleground and seldom say more tha two words without a) punching b) killing c) disintegrating an opponent who is equally mute.
Now for some conclusions on this topic. Why do these characters exist? They are Kirby creations and it is a well-known fact that the only way to maintain Jack Kirby as a staff artist is to cater to his wants. One of these wants is total freedom to change, distort, or completely destroy anything in the panel art at DC. He changed Superman into something less than he should be, totally demolished anything it took DC thirty years to build Jimmy Olsen into ... and left both characters when he was through with them. This is somewhat reminiscent of ushering a spoiled child into a room of antique toys, permitting him to smash them at will and guiding him to another room.
Now, the almighty King demands that he be granted a team of artists at his California headquarters that he might continue his Fourth World Farce. Whom would he take? Neal Adams? Jim Aparo? Joe Kubert? Certainly sacrificing these gentlemen to the pseudo science fiction slop of the Fourth World means nothing ... if the King is satiated by it. "
*Dave Sim writing as a 16-year-old fanboy for his friend John Balge's fanzine Comic Art News and Reviews. This early column proves that Sim has always had bad taste and his head up his ass.
Saturday, July 15, 2023
Friday, April 28, 2023
by BK Munn
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
by BK Munn
Unknown Canadian Cartoonists: Joe Cushner
Saturday, February 11, 2023
Just saw the first Dick Tracy movie (1945) on TCM. The villain is Split-Face, played by the great Mike Mazurki. He's a new creation for the movie, not from the comic strip, created by the screenwriter Eric Taylor, author of many B-movie crime pictures. The Batman villain Two-Face debuted in 1942. In a shocking twist, it looks like Dick Tracy is taking a page from Batman. In another shocking twist, Bob Kane is actually credited with his creation (although Bill Finger of course wrote the first appearance in Detective Comics #66). In a twist that will surprise nobody, Kane stole the idea for Two-Face from this poster for the 1941 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring Spencer Tracy
Sunday, January 15, 2023
by BK MUNN
Is this the first comics academic in film? Sorrell Booke as Holly Levine in "Bye Bye Braverman" (1968, d. Sidney Lumet). In the film, about four writers trying to find their friend's funeral in Brooklyn, Holly announces that he will soon be teaching a course on pop culture, called "From Little Nemo to L'il Abner". This news invites incredulity from his fellow intellectuals, who proceed to quiz him on his comic strip knowledge, asking trivia questions about Little Annie Rooney, Winnie Winkle, The Gumps, Orphan Annie, and Don Winslow of the Navy. Holly passes with flying colours, only getting hung up on the name of the dunce character in The Rinkydinks gang (Denny Dimwit). The film has many other comics references, including mentions of Dick Tracy, Skeezix, Blondie, and Bringing Up Father. Holly has a pop art painting of The Phantom in his apartment, and a Sunday of Irwin Hasen's Dondi is glimpsed at one point. It's a charming comedy in the form of a Joycean odyssey, based on the book "To An Early Grave" by Wallace Markfield (aka "The James Joyce of Brighton Beach").