|Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under miscellany||26 Mar 2008 8:43 AM|
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Dr. Pepper is giving away a can of pop to everyone in the world when Guns 'N' Roses releases Chinese Democracy this year. In similar news, Fantagraphics will give away copies of The Book on the Edge of Forever to anyone who asks upon the release of Last Dangerous Visions in 2008.
I stopped in my local comic shop this weekend (the same expedition I discovered Transit Man on) and stumbled across something kind of cool: FANTASTIC FOUR: THE LOST ADVENTURE by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby (with a little help from their Frenz). I vaguely remember hearing about this coming out but I couldn't swear by it, which is weird, because this should be a Big Deal. As the story goes, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby of course produced 102 consecutive issues of FANTASTIC FOUR and something like six annuals. There was a 103rd story they'd begun in 1970, but never finished for reasons I don't completely understand, although I imagine it had to do with Kirby quitting Marvel for DC around the same time. A few months later, however, I guess Marvel wanted to piss in DC's Wheaties, so they ressurected the story in FF #108. The problem was, it was a completely bastardized, cut-and-paste job fashioned by Lee and John Buscema as a flashback to fit into then-continuity.
In this new one-shot, Lee and Joe Sinnott have reunited to complete the issue in a more faithful fashion, with journeyman Ron Frenz filling in the visual blanks. The issue also includes complete reproductions of Kirby's unlinked penciled pages, as well as notes and analysis by Kirby-expert John Morrow, and a complete reprint of the FF #108 version to compare and contrast.
I really liked this. The new version of the story (or, more importantly, Kirby's) is definitely better than the hacked out version in #108. Also, being able to compare and contrast Kirby's original roughs with the Lee/Buscema FF #108 version and this new version was kind of a fascinating peek into the Marvel Method, which has a certain Choose Your Own Adventure quality to it that clearly didn't serve the story well in #108's case.
There are things that bugged me about the new version, though. Stan Lee's work over the last 30 years reminds me a lot of Paul McCartney at his worst: there's this kind of palpable desperation to follow trends and be "hip" that undercuts his very real talent when he should just do what he does (that whole "Stan Lee Imagines DC" thing was the "Ebony & Ivory" of comics crossovers). Lee insists on dropping references in the new dialogue to things like Doonesbury and DSL lines, creating a weirdly anachronistic and thoroughly unnecessary effect considering that the packaging makes it abundantly clear you're reading what purports to be a faithful interpretation of Kirby's existing roughs from 1970. Now, if Lee had the Thing complaining about Feiffer's strip in the Voice having too many words, that would have been cool.
Also, the cover design sucks (that's not the final cover above, although it would have been better), and the modern lettering is often poorly placed, generic and jarring. Where's Artie Simek when you need him? Plus, all of the old lettering from FF #108 was scanned as a halftone along with Kirby's art, while all of the brand-new lettering is printed as line art, which is kind of cool insofar as you can totally judge the old vs. new, but kind of bad as far as establishing any verisimilitude.
That said, Kirby's original story is restored fairly well, as the copious background material proves, and it's a pretty fun Kirby yarn overall. I'll be damned if Sinnott isn't still Kirby's best inker. I would have preferred that Marvel hired someone other than Lee and Frenz to finish off the dialogue and missing pencils: Mark Evanier and Steve Rude would have been good, although Lee/Frenz acquitted themselves better than I would have imagined (and it's hard to argue giving Lee a shot at it). If you like Kirby, it's a really a must-have; it's kind of like the "Free As a Bird" and "Real Love" tracks that came with the Beatles Anthology. I guess that means Kirby is Lennon, Lee is Paul/George/Ringo, and Ron Frenz is the Jeff Lynne of the bunch. I'm not doing a very good job of recommending this comic, but I did like it.
"The real war," said Walt Whitman, "will never get in the books." During World War II, the closest most Americans ever came to the "real war" was through the cartoons of Bill Mauldin, the most beloved enlisted man in the U.S. Army.
Here, for the first time, Fantagraphics Books brings together Mauldin's complete works from 1940 through the end of the war. This collection of over 600 cartoons, most never before reprinted, is more than the record of a great artist: it is an essential chronicle of America's citizen-soldiers from peace through war to victory.
Bill Mauldin knew war because he was in it. He had created his characters, Willie and Joe, at age 18, before Pearl Harbor, while training with the 45th Infantry Division and cartooning part-time for the camp newspaper. His brilliant send-ups of officers were pure infantry, and the men loved it.
After wading ashore with his division on the first of its four beach invasions in July 1943, Mauldin and his men changed — and Mauldin's cartoons changed accordingly. Months of miserable weather, bad food, and tedium interrupted by the terror of intense bombing and artillery fire took its toll. By the year's end, virtually every man in Mauldin's original rifle company was killed, wounded, or captured.
The wrinkles in Willie and Joe's uniforms deepened, the bristle on their faces grew, and the eyes — "too old for those young bodies," as Mauldin put it — betrayed a weariness that would remain the entire war. With their heavy brush lines, detailed battlescapes, and pidgin of army slang and slum dialect, Mauldin's cartoons and captions recreated on paper the fully realized world of the American combat soldier. Their dark, often insubordinate humor sparked controversy among army brass and incensed General George S. Patton, Jr.
This is the first of several volumes publishing the best of Bill Mauldin's single panel strips from 1940 to 1991 (when he stopped drawing). His Willie & Joe cartoons are presented in a deluxe, beautifully designed two-volume slipcased edition of over 600 pages. The series is edited by Todd DePastino, whose Mauldin scholarship is on full display in a biography of the artist released in February 2008 from W.W. Norton. Willie & Joe contains an introduction and running commentary by DePastino, providing context for the drawings, pertinent biographical details of Mauldin's life, and occasional background on specific cartoons (such as the ones that made Patton howl).
Marvel suits are zombies, the dark shadow of the good parts they used to be. The place is crawling with security and I just play dumb. They pull my site but I'm long gone, disappearing in the internet fog but still sitting there in the office obligingly reading what Tom covets. (Like I don't know you're showing everyone different pages.)
Find Marvel_b0y if you can, which you can't. I'm squatting where there's an audience besides the Skrulls and their wannabe minions. Props to DB for slipping his way into this blog (thanks for the easy pickings, Blogger). The tight tshirt crowd at Fantagraphics won't mind the traffic and besides that Gilbert Hernandez knows how to draw a real superheroine.
More pics later just for you fans of the spoiler and not just the stuff everyone is pretending to show. Since when does Wizard have the real deal?
Don't forget! We have TWO awesome west coast events with Drew Friedman this weekend. First up is a book signing and exhibition opening at our gallery in Seattle on Thursday night. Then Drew heads down to L.A. for an event on Saturday at Skylight Books.
THURSDAY NIGHT IN SEATTLE:
DREW FRIEDMAN: THE FUN NEVER STOPS!
SATURDAY NIGHT IN LOS ANGELES:
WHO: Drew Friedman & SPECIAL GUESTS!
At Skylight, Drew will be joined by several very special surprise guests, as well as discussion moderator Ben Schwartz and comedian Andy Kindler (whose father, Larry Kindler, was good friends with comic book legends Harry Chester and Harvey Kurtzman).
And don't forget to pick up our exclusive silkscreen (pictured above) produced for the Seattle event, available ONLY at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery while supplies last. Signed by Drew and limited to 100 copies!
"Drew Friedman isn't just a brilliant artist. He takes you to a place. He takes you back in time. He makes you smell the stale cigarettes and cold brisket and you say thank you for the pleasure." - Sarah Silverman
Paul Karasik just sent along the unfortunate news that Fletcher Hanks, Jr., passsed away this week at the age of 90. Hanks, known by friends as "Christy," is the son of comic book pioneer Fletcher Hanks, Sr.
Christy was unaware of his estranged father's history in comics until Paul hunted him down to learn more about the (still) mysterious cartoonist. Paul sent over these photos shortly after completing the book "I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets"-- a collection of Hanks' comic book output. The picture below shows Christy's discovery that the book was dedicated to him.
As a pilot, inventor, and WWII veteran, Christy lived quite a life himself. Please read the obituary here.
Brooklyn Book Fest 2014
Join us at the Brooklyn Book Fest, September 21, 2014, in Brooklyn, NY. Click here for details!
2020 Club, 21, Abstract Comics, adam grano, Adventures in Slumberland, Aidan Koch, AJ Fosik, Al Columbia, Al Feldstein, Al Floogleman, Al Jaffee, Al Williamson, Alex Chun, Alex Toth, Alexander Theroux, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Amazing Heroes, An Age of License, Anders Nilsen, Andrei Molotiu, Andrice Arp, animation, arbitrary cuteness, Archer Prewitt, Arf, Ariel Bordeaux, Arnold Roth, art, Art Chantry, Art Clokey, art shows, artists, audio, awards, B Krigstein, Barnaby, Barry Windsor-Smith, Basil Wolverton, Beasts, behind the scene, Ben Catmull, Ben Jones, Ben Schwartz, best american comics criticism, Best of 2009, Best of 2010, Best of 2011, Best of 2012, Bill Everett, Bill Griffith, Bill Mauldin, Bill Schelly, Bill Ward, Bill Wenzel, Bill Willingham, Blab, Blake Bell, Blazing Combat, Bob Fingerman, Bob Levin, Bob Staake, Boody Rogers, Brian Kane, Brian Ralph, Bumbershoot, Burne Hogarth, Camille Rose Garcia, Captain Easy, Carl Barks, Carl Richter, Carol Swain, Carol Tyler, Catalog No 439, Cathy Malkasian, CCI, Charles Burns, Charles Forsman, Charles M Schulz, Charles Rodrigues, Charles Schneider, Chip Kidd, Chris Ware, Chris Wright, Chuck Forsman, classics, Colleen Coover, comic strips, comics industry, comics journal, Coming Attractions, comiXology, Conor OKeefe, Conor Stechschulte, contests, Crag Hill, Craig Yoe, Critters, Crockett Johnson, Daily OCD, Dame Darcy, Dan DeCarlo, Dan Nadel, Daniel Clowes, Danny Bland, Dash Shaw, Dave Cooper, Dave McKean, David B, David Collier, David Greenberger, David Lasky, David Levine, david sandlin, David Wojnarowicz, Debbie Drechsler, Denis The Menace, Dennis the Menace, Derek Van Gieson, Design, Destroy All Movies, Diaflogue, Diamond, Diane Noomin, Dick Briefer, digital comics, Disney, DJ Bryant, Don Flowers, Don Rosa, Down with OPP, Drawing Power, Drew Friedman, Drew Weing, Drinky Crow Show, Ebay, EC Comics, EC Segar, Ed Luce, Ed Piskor, Editors Notes, Edward Gorey, Eisner, Eldon Dedini, Eleanor Davis, Ellen Forney, Emile Bravo, Eric Reynolds, Ernie Bushmiller, Eros Comix, Eroyn Franklin, errata, Esther Pearl Watson, Eve Gilbert, events, fan art, Fantagraphics Bookstore, Fantagraphics history, fashion, FBI MINIs, FCBD, Femke Hiemstra, Field Trip, Flannery OConnor, Fletcher Hanks, flogcast, Floyd Gottfredson, Four Color Fear, Francesca Ghermandi, Francisco Solano López, Frank Santoro, Frank Stack, Frank Thorne, Freddy Milton, Fredrik Stromberg, Fredrik Strömberg, From Wonderland with Love, Fucking Nice Guy, Gabriella Giandelli, Gabrielle Bell, Gahan Wilson, Gary Groth, Gary Panter, Gast, Gene Deitch, George Carlson, George Chieffet, George Evans, George Herriman, Gil Kane, Gilbert Hernandez, Gilbert Shelton, Gipi, Glenn Bray, Glenn Head, God and Science, good deeds, Graham Chaffee, Graham Ingels, Greg Irons, Greg Sadowski, Guy Peellaert, Hal Foster, Hank Ketcham, Hans Rickheit, Harvey Kurtzman, Harvey Pekar, heiko mueller, Hergé, Hernán Migoya, Ho Che Anderson, hooray for Hollywood, Hotwire, Humbug, Humorama, Ignatz Series, Igort, In-joke Central, Inio Asano, Inspiration, interns, interview, interviews, Irwin Chusid, Ivan Brun, Ivan Brunetti, J Otto, Jack Cole, Jack Davis, Jack Jackson, Jack Kamen, Jack Kirby, Jacques Boyreau, Jacques Tardi, Jaime Hernandez, James Romberger, James Sturm, Janet Hamlin, Jason, Jason T Miles, Jean Schulz, Jeff Smith, jefferson machamer, jeffrey brown, Jeremy Eaton, Jeremy Tinder, Jerry Dumas, Jesse Moynihan, Jesse Reklaw, Jessica Abel, Jim Blanchard, Jim Flora, Jim Rugg, Jim Woodring, JIS, Joe Coleman, Joe Daly, Joe Kimball, Joe Kubert, Joe Orlando, Joe Sacco, Joe Simon, John Benson, John Cuneo, John Hankiewicz, john kerschbaum, John Liney, John Pham, John Severin, Johnny Craig, Johnny Gruelle, Johnny Ryan, Jon Adams, jon vermilyea, Jonathan Barli, Jonathan Bennett, Joost Swarte, Jordan Crane, Joseph Lambert, Josh Cochran, Josh Simmons, Joshua Glenn, Joyce Farmer, JR Williams, Jules Feiffer, Julia Gfrörer, Justin Green, Justin Hall, Kaz, Ken Parille, Kevin Avery, Kevin Huizenga, kevin scalzo, Kickstarter, Killoffer, Kim Deitch, Kim Thompson, Kipp Friedman, Kovey Korner, Krazy Kat, Kremos, Kristy Valenti, Kurt Wolfgang, Lane Milburn, Last Vispo, Laura Park, LB Cole, Leah Hayes, Leila Marzocchi, Leslie Stein, Lewis Trondheim, library, life imitates comics, Lilli Carré, Linda Medley, Liz Suburbia, Lizz Hickey, Lorenzo Mattotti, Lorna Miller, Los Bros Hernandez, Lou Reed, Love and Rockets, Lucy Knisley, Lyonel Feininger, Maakies, Mack White, Malachi Ward, Malcolm McNeill, manga, marc bell, Marc Sobel, Marco Corona, Marguerite Van Cook, Mario Hernandez, Mark Bode, Mark Fertig, Mark Kalesniko, Mark Martin, Mark Newgarden, Mark Todd, Marschall Books, Marti, Martin Cendreda, Martin Kellerman, mary fleener, Matt Broersma, Matt Danner, Matt Thorn, Matthias Lehmann, Matthias Wivel, maurice fucking sendak, Maurice Tillieux, Max, Max Andersson, McSweeneys, Meg Hunt, Megahex, Megan Kelso, merch, meta, Mia Wolff, Michael Chabon, Michael Dowers, Michael 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Goodin, Robert Pollard, Robert Williams, Roberta Gregory, rock, Roger Langridge, Ron Regé Jr, Rory Hayes, Rosebud Archives, Roy Crane, Russ Heath, S Clay Wilson, sales specials, Sammy Harkham, Samuel R Delany, Sara Edward-Corbett, Sequential, Sergio Ponchione, Seth, Shag, Shannon Wheeler, shelf porn, Shilling, Shimura Takako, Short Run, signed bookplates, Significant Objects, Simon Deitch, Simon Hanselmann, slimy marketing, Some Douchebag, Sophie Crumb, Souther Salazar, spain, Spain Rodriguez, staff, Stan Sakai, Stephane Blanquet, Stephen DeStefano, Stephen Dixon, Stephen Weissman, Steve Brodner, Steve Ditko, Steve Duin, Steven Brower, Steven Weissman, Storm P, Supermen, T Edward Bak, Taking Punk to the Masses, tales designed to thrizzle, tattoos, Ted Jouflas, Ted Stearn, television, Terry Zwigoff, The Comics Journal, The Go-Gos, The Love Bunglers, The Stranger, Things to see, Thomas Ott, Tim Hensley, Tim Kreider, Tim Lane, TMNT, Tom Kaczynski, Tommi Musturi, Tony Millionaire, Tori Miki, toys, Trina Robbins, TS Sullivant, Tyler Stout, Ulli Lust, Umpteen Millionaire Club, Under the Covers, UNLOVABLE, Usagi Yojimbo, Vaughn Bode, Victor Kerlow, Victor Moscoso, video, Virgil Partch, VIVA LA COMIX, Wallace Wood, wallpapers, Wally Wood, walt holcombe, Walt Kelly, Wandering Son, Warren Bernard, webcomics, Wendy Chin, Wilfred Santiago, Will Elder, Willard Mullin, William S Burroughs, Willie and Joe, witzend, Wuvable Oaf, Zak Sally, Zap, Zippy the Pinhead
The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St., Seattle WA 98108. Tel: 206-658-0110.