• Review: Bookgasm says of Supermen!: "...any self-respecting comics fan is going to eat [these stories] up like a Saturday-morning bowl of sugared cereal … and slurp up any leftover milk. If there’s a better gift of comics history this year… well, I’d no doubt fall in love with that one, too... Fantagraphics has done an amazing job in assembling this unique and colorful curio."
• Review: Comics Worth Reading gives "a big tip of the hat to the fine folks at Fantagraphics for getting Sam's Strip back into print after all these decades. As usual, they have spared no expense in putting together a visually excellent package... If you ever had more than a passing interest in newspaper strips, you owe it to yourself to check out this collection."
• History: In his Savage Critics post about "vaporware" comics projects culled from the pages of mid-1980s Amazing Heroes Preview Specials, Douglas Wolk digs up our never-produced Alan Moore anthology series and a choice quote from Kim Thompson
"Arriving in stores in the fall of this year, All and Sundry is a collection of various illustrations, posters, comics, and drawings that have been scattered in publications and galleries all over the world, but never collected in a single volume. This will include the strip currently running in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, as well as the sixteen page comic recently drawn for the album Yonlu. The book will be rounded out by over one hundred scans from sketchbooks, documenting weirdness that has never seen the light of day, and projects still in a primitive state."
It might be time for a new plan in this week's installment of Steven Weissman's in-progress pages from "Blue Jay," an epic 50-page story from Chocolate Cheeks, the next collection of the Yikes! gang's adventures. Wait, what? Yes, the formerly 32-page story has expanded by 18 more pages and will continue through July! WHAMMY!
More photos of original HUMBUG art by the likes of Will Elder (gush! gush!), Al Jaffee (get laughy with Jaffee!) and Arnold Roth (makes a mean chicken fat broth!).
The work pictured below will be on display at the Fantagraphics Books this Saturday March 7th to celebrate the release of HUMBUG.
The original for Will Elder's "Fake Santa Clauses" from HUMBUG #6, including tissue overlay indicating where to place the spot color.
The same without overlay. What you can't see in the photo are the several different pieces of paper glued together making the drawing complete. It wouldn't be altogether inappropriate to call this piece a collage. If I remember right, there's 6 to 8 different pieces of paper fixed together for the drawing alone, not including the lettering and type.
Note the white paint. I seem to hear a lot of talk about how much or how little a cartoonist uses white paint... implying the less white paint the better... This has always struck me as comics-jock bullshit... I've even read cartoonists advertise the sale of their original art with sheepish addendum's shamefully stating the use of white paint (and by "white paint" of course I mean white-out or correction fluid, etc.). I'm here to tell you (or you could see the show yourself) that for HUMBUG, Elder & Jaffee (Roth's a different story) used A LOT of white paint and A LOT of different pieces of paper... some of their originals look like they committed cartoon surgery! AND the printed work is neither better nor worse for it! The printed work is fucking awesome! These guys were/are super human talents and it's pretty cool to peak behind the printed process (circa 1955 to 2009) to catch a glimpse of how they made their masterpieces.
Here's a detail. Notice the cut line around "Fake Santa Clauses" head...
I had the good fortune to go through A LOT of original art for HUMBUG. Primarily I went through originals for the three aforementioned cartoonists. The most common reoccurring tendency for all three cartoonists, the one thing that unified their craft, was the numerous times they re-drew and pasted on a characters head or face.
Here's a detail from a piece by Arnold Roth. Roth's originals are quite a bit different than Elder's and Jaffee's. There's hardly any white paint used for correction. When Roth uses white paint he uses it for effect. Spy the white paint in the hatching surrounding the characters above. But! Time and time again, exhibited in Roth's originals, there are many heads re-drawn and pasted overtop pre-existing work.
Detail of Old Blue Eyes by God - Whoops! I mean Will Elder! Check out the new cranium Elder fashioned for Sinatra... Now, I have my theories about all this. It's no secret Harvey Kurtzman was a perfectionist and it's not hard to imagine him asking a cartoonist to change a characters facial expression...
... but I had my doubts, simply from the sheer amount of correction and collage found in Elder and Jaffee's work, it's equally not hard to imagine them turning in their pages with re-drawn heads. Going through Arnold Roth's originals however has reaffirmed my hunch that Kurtzman was directing the facial character or "acting" of his fellow cartoonists' work. The only "correction" a Roth HUMBUG original ever exhibits is when he's redrawn a characters head or face, as is the case above with his pin-up of Dave Beck from HUMBUG #1.
Tangent Time: Seattleites and Teamsters take note! I can't express how happy I am to have Roth's original, satirical pin-up of Seattle's own Dave Beck hanging in our gallery/bookstore. My Mother's side of the family hails from this neck of the woods and it just so happens they were neighbors of Beck's back in the 50's... right around the time Roth penned this piece. My Mother and Aunt played with Beck's kids as he was being interrogated by Robert F. Kennedy and when he was succeeded as the President of the Teamsters Union by...
... Jimmy Hoffa by Arnold Roth with redrawn head from HUMBUG #7.
Parting Note: Astute readers and happy owners of our HUMBUG collection can flip open the first volume to the title page and peep examples where Jack Davis re-drew Karl Malden's face !
• Review/profile: The Oregonian says that Most Outrageous by Bob Levin is "The most challenging and thought-provoking book I read last year... unforgettable... among the great essays on human frailty," and discusses how the commercial success of The Complete Peanuts enables us to publish more challenging work
• Review: Brick Weekly says of The Lagoon by Lilli Carré, "Carré’s cartooning is purely excellent, evolving nicely from her earlier work and pulling you into a world of vividly drawn characters and lush environments" (scroll past the video game review)
The colorful Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack enters its second year with a lively array of arts and entertainment on Saturday, March 14 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Residents of region are invited to explore the enchanting Georgetown arts community and visit the diverse and delightfully creative artists, residents, and merchants that inhabit this historic neighborhood.
Among the highlights of the March 14 installment: A record release party for Strange Jerome with special guests The Drews at the Mix; Paintings from the book "Monito Hermoso" by Mike Cressy at Georgetown Tile Works; Notebook drawings by Georgetown neighborhood advocates Holly and Kathy at their charming George boutique; A book signing and music performance by celebrated cartoonist and counterculture maven Dame Darcy at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery; An opening of the expanded quarters of mid-century modern purveyors Fruit Cocktail Collectables; A multimedia presentation by participants of the South Park Youth Media Workshop taught by Laura Wright and Web Crowell at Belle & Wissell; Open studios and performances celebrating the first anniversary of our Sodo neighbors Seitch 22 Artist Studios at the Old Rainier Brewery.
The Art Attack festivities will be followed by a special benefit auction for Georgetown's favorite son and resident motorcycle mechanic Phil Weigel at the Cretins Motorcycle Club headquarters on Spokane Street at E. Marginal Way. Phil recently suffered a broken hip, and the entire neighborhood has rallied to his support. Please join us.
The Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack is a monthly promotion of the Georgetown Merchants' Association. For more information contact GMA chair Kathy Nyland or Art Attack coordinator Larry Reid via www.georgetownartattack.com.
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