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Category >> Mort Meskin

Daily OCD: 9/24/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven BrowerStephen DeStefanoreviewsRand HolmesPatrick RosenkranzMoto HagioMort MeskinmangaLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezKim DeitchJim WoodringJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezFour Color FearDrew WeingDrew FriedmanDaily OCDComing AttractionsCatalog No 439Al Jaffee 24 Sep 2010 6:32 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Set to Sea

Review: "We are witness to a man's life unfolding, unraveling, before us in a series of postcards that leave nothing — or is it everything? — to the imagination. I don't know Drew Weing, or whether he's lucky or good, but in Set to Sea , he has reminded me once again just how much story you can share in a brief flurry of comic panels, so long as you know how to trim the sails and catch the wind." – Steve Duin, The Oregonian

Review: "...Set to Sea... is so much more than a hauntingly inspiring story about a poet who ends up on a sea vessel. It is so much more than page after page of highly-detailed illustrations. It feels like a small precious art book full of engravings or paintings on each page or an old illustrated maritime novel. [...] Weing’s art is mesmerizing. You could stare at one page for hours. Each page is carefully planned and crafted to maximize its storytelling ability and it is easy to see the love and effort that went into each line and crosshatch." – Shawn Daughhetee, The HeroesOnline Blog

Review: "The pages [of Set to Sea] are incredibly expressive, able to convey longing, panic, rage, camaraderie, mourning, and ultimately peace. Weing manipulates whole compositions to achieve these effects, not merely the expressions on characters’ faces." – Joshua Malbin

Review: "Drew [Weing] uses the possibilities of the medium to perfection [in Set to Sea], telling the life story of the guy page by page, somehow pulling the impression of a richly lived life through scattered moments." – Kevin Bramer, Optical Sloth

Lucky in Love Book 1: A Poor Man's History [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Review: "Imagine Sad Sack stepping out of his cartoon world and into ours — warts and all — and that’s what Lucky in Love almost feels like. [...] The real star of the show here is artist DeStefano, who mixes up this 1940s world as one-part humor strip outrageousness, and one-part gorgeous Will Eisner-style dramatic noir — a real visual tour de force." – John Seven, Worcester Magazine

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

Review: "Revealed in these pages [of A Drunken Dream and Other Stories] are gentle but dark stories that are preoccupied with the loss and alienation that their intended audiences no doubt feel, often without any tangible reasons beyond the purely psychological. Several stories stand out for cherry pickers, but you’ll be rewarded by each entry." – John Mitchell, North Adams Transcript

Review: At The Hooded Utilitarian, Noah Berlatsky examines (and spoils) the first four stories in A Drunken Dream in his own inimitable fashion

The Artist Himself: A Rand Holmes Retrospective [Pre-Order]

Review: "...The Artist Himself... present[s] a compellingly fresh... approach to the history of the medium... What makes The Artist Himself unique is in the title itself — Rosenkranz has constructed a sprawling portrait of Rand Holmes as a man in conflict with the 'the artist himself' — a man trying to carve out a way to live that allowed for art (never an easy feat) and an art that somehow made sense in his life. ...[A]side from the obvious benefits of learning about Holmes, I found myself selfishly drawing tremendous inspiration from Rosenkranz as he demonstrated the richness possible in writing the history of comics. He draws the curtain back as if to say, 'see, here’s someone you hardly think of, who lived an extraordinary life, and it’s a life that must be reckoned within the history.' It radically broadens what we think of as a cartoonist’s life, and in that Rosenkranz has given us a great gift." – Dan Nadel, Comics Comics

Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Review: "If Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 only contained Gilbert Hernandez’s 36-page 'Scarlet By Starlight,' it would still be one of the most significant new comics of the year. [...Jaime's] 'The Love Bunglers' and 'Browntown' offer the kind of rich, intricate stories — packed with sharp observations about human desire and self-justification — that only an author with 30 years of experience with these characters could write. But readers don’t need to have read all the previous Maggie tales to follow them. Everything a newcomer needs to know is woven neatly into the stories themselves... There are acclaimed filmmakers and novelists who can’t do what Jaime Hernandez does — or Gilbert, for that matter. When the two of them are at their most inspired, as they are here, they make almost every other comics creator today look like a fumbling hack. [Grade] A" – The A.V. Club

Review: "I won't pretend to have a clue as to what Beto's trying to do with this stuff; sometimes he seems to be paying tribute of sorts to junk cinema and/or comment on the current state of the movies, and sometimes it seems like he just wants to draw to naked dudes beating a cop to death with a rock. ...Jaime is note-perfect throughout, using every nuance and trick at his command to engage and move the reader. It's a masterwork, and I'll be damned if I can tell what he'll do for an encore. ...[T]his one brings the goods. If you care at all about this series and those characters, you'll want to get this [issue of Love and Rockets: New Stories]..." – Johnny Bacardi, Popdose

Review: "...[T]his one is really damn good, with a typically surreal and horrifying story from Gilbert and an excellent bit of character work from Jaime. Isn't it awesome that stuff on this level is what we've come to expect? [...] Yes, it's another great issue of one of the best comics series of all time; what else is new? Jaime and Gilbert are rightfully revered as all-time great creators, but the fact that they are still pumping out incredible work and bettering themselves, sure to keep doing it for as long as possible, should make readers celebrate their wealth and fortune. Even if everybody else quit, we would still be pretty lucky. Long live Love and Rockets!" – Matthew J. Brady, Warren Peace Sings the Blues

Review: "You open a Xaime story, you know what you’re gonna get. He’s a known quantity/quality on the richest level... With Xaime, you’re going to get a perfectly-told Locas story: clean... and humanistic and relatable, funny, sad, the whole package. Beto, on the other hand …. His shit is scary creative, and sometimes just scary. Gilbert is the higher mathematics, you know what I’m saying? Ever since 'Human Diastrophism' I haven’t felt safe in his company, haven’t trusted that crazy bastard. Because he will do some fucked-up shit when you least expect it. [...] So, boom, right on Jump Street of Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 there’s a Gilbert story. Deep breath. Okay. In we go with gun and flashlight." – Rob Gonsalves, Rob's Comics Zone

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s [Pre-Order]

Review: "The colors are garish, the stories grotesque, and the art much freakier than the norm. Where EC’s comics are more akin to the drive-in fodder of American International Pictures, the comics in Four Color Fear are the equivalent of a David F. Friedman grindhouse roughie: lurid, exploitative, and just plain wrong. In short, this book is awesome. Making it even more awesome is Sadowski’s annotation: ...the layer of scholarship is enough to make reading about decaying zombies and devil-worshippers seem almost ennobling. [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club

Too Soon? Famous/Infamous Faces 1995-2010 [Pre-Order]

Review: "Caricature is a bit of a dying art, but there’s still a place for it, especially in a celebrity-obsessed culture like ours that goes out of its way to make its idols look even better than they already do. That’s why we need Drew Friedman, whose precise, pointillist style has been putting the rich and famous to the sword for decades. His new collection, Too Soon?: Famous/Infamous Faces 1995-2010, features another round of his inimitable caricatures, which manage to make everyone from venal creeps to well-meaning politicians look alternately hideous and noble. Friedman is still at the top of his game... [Grade] B+" – The A.V. Club

From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin [Pre-Order]

Review: "One of the lesser-known lights of the Golden Age, illustrator Mort Meskin was a prolific workhorse whose angular, action-packed style and use of deep shadow effects would prove a huge influence on Steve Ditko. From Shadow to Light: The Life and Art of Mort Meskin, a new biography of Meskin compiling exhaustive interviews with his peers and extensive cooperation from his sons, doesn’t lack for material. It also has plenty of great anecdotes, and through quality reproductions, it skillfully makes its case that its subject was a very talented artist. [Grade] B-" – The A.V. Club

Catalog No. 439: Burlesque  Paraphernalia and Side Degree Specialties and Costumes

Review: "The 1930 DeMoulin Bros. catalog, or Catalog No. 439: Burlesque Paraphernalia and Side Degree Specialties and Costumes, ...reached the jester of a more or less pronounced sadistic orientation, and offered them the tools and effects that made it possible to fool friends (?) to put their heart in their throat and give them pain here and there. Fantagraphics Books has recently reprinted the directory again (along with several essays that comment on product selection in a cultural perspective)... Although one might prefer to avoid being exposed to the tricks that comprise the DeMoulin catalog, I must admit that I laughed both three and five times when I looked through the offerings. Most of us probably have a little sadist in us, I guess." – Kjetil Johansen, Nekropolis – Den Historiske Bloggen (translated from Norwegian)

Weathercraft

Plugs: "Well, in our rambunctious endeavour to keep up with the literary radness of the Northwest, we... want to point you toward [Jim] Woodring’s newest graphic novel, Weathercraft, which is out now from Seattle-based publisher Fantagraphic Books. In addition to Weathercraft, we personally recommend their series Love and Rockets, from Los Bros Hernandez. If you’re looking for some reading that really is graphic, like super sexy female bodies comin at ya with homoerotic undertones that are never unleashed but still drive you crazy, you’ll want to pick up Love and Rockets. This series is an endlessly delicious ride through the relationships of men and women in crappy southern California neighborhoods." – Lori Huskey, Dark Sky Magazine

The Complete Peanuts 1977-1978 (Vol. 14) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

List: Graphic Novel Reporter's "Fall Graphic Novels List: Essential Reading for the Season" includes The Complete Peanuts 1977-1978 by Charles M. Schulz, A Drunken Dream and Other Stories by Moto Hagio, Unlovable: The Complete Collecton by Esther Pearl Watson, Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics by Blake Bell, From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin by Steven Brower, You'll Never Know, Book Two: Collateral Damage by C. Tyler, Love and Rockets: New Stories 3 by the Hernandez Bros., Prison Pit: Book 2 by Johnny Ryan, The Sanctuary by Nate Neal, Zippy: Ding Dong Daddy from Dingburg by Bill Griffith, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Vol. 1 by Jacques Tardi, Bent by Dave Cooper, Mome Vol. 20, Forlorn Funnies Vol. 1 by Paul Hornschemeier,  and Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives, Vol. 2

The Search for Smilin' Ed!

Profile: Robot 6 presents a "Comics College" introductory guide to the work of Kim Deitch, written by Deitch Universe expert Bill Kartalopoulos: "Kim Deitch is an enormously vital and prolific cartoonist who was also one of the charter members of the underground comix scene that changed comics in the 1960s and 70s. [...] More than forty years later, Deitch stands as one of the few underground cartoonists who has steadily and consistently produced a large body of important work, spanning every available format from the alternative weekly comic strip to the graphic novel."

Humbug

Interview: Al Jaffee touches briefly on his Humbug days in this extensive Q&A with Mother Jones's Michael Mechanic: "I loved Harvey [Kurtzman] and I miss him to this day. He was a very, very inspiring guy. He was inventive and inspiring and he also was just a scrupulous editor. He could catch things that most people would just say, 'Let it go through, it really doesn't matter; who's going to know?' But once Harvey pointed it out, I would change it even if it took me the whole day. Harvey knew how to make things work because he wasn't greedy, he wasn't successful." (Via ¡Journalista!)

Now in stock: Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner & the Birth of Marvel Comics by Blake Bell
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven Browernew releasesMort MeskinBlake BellBill Everett 20 Sep 2010 7:23 AM

Just arrived in our warehouse and ready to ship:

 Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics by Blake Bell

Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics
by Blake Bell

192-page full-color 9" x 12" hardcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-166-4

Ordering Info & Previews

This book is available with a signed bookplate as a FREE premium! The bookplate has been uniquely designed for this book, and each bookplate is printed on acid-free cardstock and hand-signed by the author Blake Bell and Bill Everett's daughter, Wendy Everett! (Click here for more books available with signed bookplates.) Please select your preference above before adding the item to your shopping cart. Note: Signature plates are VERY limited in quantity and available only WHILE SUPPLIES LAST.

In 1939, decades before it would become the powerhouse behind such famous super-heroes as Spider-Man, The X-Men, and Iron Man, Marvel Comics launched its comics line with a four-color magazine starring a daring new antihero: The Sub-Mariner.

As created and rendered by the great Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner was an angry half-breed (half-man, half sea-creature) who loathed and fought against all mankind — until he joined the Allied Forces to defeat the Nazis during World War II. Seventy years later, Everett’s aquatic creation remains one of the pinnacles of the Marvel super-hero universe (as attested to by the character’s recent option for a major motion picture).

The Sub-Mariner alone, and his status as the original Marvel (anti-)hero, would have insured any cartoonist’s place in comics history. But Everett was a master of many kinds of comics: romance, crime, humor, and the often brutal horror comics genre (before it was defanged by the Comics Code Authority in the 1950s), for which he produced work of such stylish and horrifi c beauty that he ranks with the artists who kept the legendary EC comics line awash in blood and guts.

Written by Blake Bell (the author of the best-selling critical biography of Steve Ditko, Strange and Stranger) and compiled with the aid and assistance of Everett’s family, friends, and cartoonist peers, Fire and Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner & the Birth of Marvel Comics is an intimate biography of a troubled man; an eye-popping collection of Everett’s comics, sketchbook drawings, and illustration art (including spectacular samples from his greatest published work as well as never-before-seen private drawings); and an in-depth look at his involvement in the birth of the company that would revolutionize pop culture forever: Marvel Comics!

Fire & Water + From Shadow to Light

Bonus Savings: Order Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics by Blake Bell and From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin by Steven Brower together for just $51.99 — that's 35% off the combined cover prices!

Daily OCD: 9/16/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven BrowerreviewsPeanutsMort MeskinLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezLorenzo MattottiJohnny RyanJim WoodringJean SchulzJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezDaily OCDComing Attractions 16 Sep 2010 4:04 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Jim Woodring - photo by Kyle Johnson

Profile: The Stranger's Paul Constant profiles the newsweekly's 2010 Literature Genius, Jim Woodring: "There are only a small number of medium-changing geniuses in the history of cartooning who have managed to develop a singular visual language, and Jim Woodring is one of them."

Prison Pit: Book 2  [Pre-Order]

Review: "...[D]amned if [Prison Pit: Book 2] isn’t one of the most entertaining, hilarious, and addictively fun comics I’ve read all year. [...] The violence itself is both brutish and ugly, but is direct and unapologetic, and drawn with such passion and beauty by Ryan. [...] It’s over-the-top, extreme, uncompromising, and very, very funny. It’s the sort of book you can’t put down even after you’re done; you just keep jumping around and admiring the stark viciousness that jumps off the page." – Chad Nevett, Comic Book Resources

From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin [Pre-Order]

Review: "...[Mort] Meskin was and is one of the unsung greats of the Golden and Silver Ages, was influential on many of the later legends such as Joe Kubert and (especially) Steve Ditko (Ditko's style, especially early on, is VERY reminiscent of Meskin), and is definitely someone any right-thinking comics and/or illustration fan should get better acquainted with. [From Shadow to Light] is a very good place to start. It also works wonderfully as a snapshot of a time and a way of life in the comics industry that is gone, never to return." – Johnny Bacardi, Popdose

Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Roundtable: Techland's panel of critics (Douglas Wolk, Evan Narcisse, Mike Williams, Lev Grossman and Graeme McMillan) has an opinionated (and spoiler-filled) discussion about Love and Rockets: New Stories #3

Plug: "Jaime Hernandez’ stories in the new [Love and Rockets: New Stories #3] flat-out transported me. The moment young Perla saw the girl-mechanic on the parade float [link added – Ed.], I had a grin from ear to ear. My heart was broken after the story of her brother. I lost myself in his amazing storytelling, and I’m thankful for that. (I also may be the last reader of theirs to realize that Beto Hernandez is this generation’s Russ Meyer.)" – Gil Roth

Stigmata

Coming Attractions: Library Journal's Martha Cornog spotlights Stigmata by Lorenzo Mattotti & Claudio Piersanti in the latest Graphic Novel Prepub Alert: "A hand-to-mouth lowlife makes do day to day, and then his palms begin to bleed. This apparent gift of sainthood brings certain benefits, but tragedy as well. The original Italian comic inspired a 2009 Spanish live-action film and was one of British comics guru Paul Gravett's 2004 picks for the 'twenty best untranslated European graphic novels you haven't read' and only the fifth to be translated since. Intense, swirly black-and-white linework."

Jean Schulz - photo: Brant Ward, San Francisco Chronicle

Interview: The San Francisco Chronicle's Peter Hartlaub talks to Jean Schulz about the Peanuts legacy and other topics: "I don't want to say the last 10 years have been an awakening, because I always felt that he was a genius. But the last 10 years have been a really wonderful experience for me. And without me realizing it, this museum has been the forum for me to explore all these things." (Via The Daily Cartoonist)

Daily OCD: 9/15/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven BrowerStephen DeStefanoreviewsPeanutsMoto HagioMort MeskinmangaFrom Wonderland with LoveDaily OCDCharles M Schulz 15 Sep 2010 5:35 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

Review: "...A Drunken Dream and Other Stories... is a deeply impressive — and immersive — piece of work that's full of complex emotional truths. And deep weirdness. [...] I dug this, and I think many, many people not conversant with manga will, too. Stylistically, it's a curious mix: Her linework gives each page a sense of openness, conjuring a world of light breezes, flowers and sunshine, even as her characters struggle with inner darkness. This darkness can take many forms: doomed eternal love, grief, guilt or — in the collection's most satisfyingly creepy/affecting tale — a parasitic conjoined twin. It’s not overwrought or melodramatic – Hagio's got too good an eye for locating the emotional center of her work for that. But it is sincere, and often abashedly poignant." – Glen Weldon, NPR.org

The Complete Peanuts 1977-1978 (Vol. 14) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

Review: "We’re up to the 14th volume of this classy Peanuts reprint series from Fantagraphics. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned in a while how much I like the book design by Seth. His color choices are particularly good this time. [...] In all, great fun and good reading. Highly recommended!" – Todd Klein (via The Comics Reporter)

Lucky in Love Book 1: A Poor Man's History [with FREE Signed Bookplate]  From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin [Pre-Order]

Plugs: "It’s a relatively smallish week but Fantagraphics have beefed it up with two brilliant looking books. Lucky in Love: A Poor Man’s History is the first of a two-part story written by George Chieffet about Lucky Testatuda, a rascally teen from New Jersey’s Little Italy and his experiences before, during, and after the war. But it’s not your usual take on the old familiar when-I-went-to-war tale... The other offering from Fantagraphics is From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin, a coffee table art book, biography and critique of a highly influential Golden Age artist... This book not only looks at his entire comics career which spanned for about 30 years from the 40’s but also goes on to include stuff from 1965 and onwards, when he went on to become some sort of Don Draper character (one cheerily imagines) in an advertising firm in 1965." – The Gosh! Comics Blog

Plugs: "A beautiful retrospective on the 30 year career and work of an under-appreciated comics legend. From Shadow to Light makes an excellent argument that [Mort] Meskin has a home in the comics pantheon next to the likes of Jack Kirby and Alex Toth. [...] Both visually stunning and gripping narrative-wise, Lucky [in Love] is like an epic feature length classic cartoon with a modern sensibility — in book format." – Benn Ray (Atomic Books), Largehearted Boy

From Wonderland with Love: Danish Comics in the Third  Millennium

Profile: At The Metabunker, Matthias Wivel profiles Nikoline Werdelin, creator of the Eisner-nominated story "Because I Love You So Much" from From Wonderland with Love, on the occasion of her 50th birthday: "And she is indeed merciless. A borderline if not full-blown cynic, her coldness is tempered by an exacting sense of humor that betrays her involvement. Plus it brings a rare clarity to her vision — she is a diagnostician rather than a nihilist. [...] A cartoonist for our age."

New Comics Day 9/9/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven BrowerNew Comics DayMort Meskin 9 Sep 2010 12:21 AM

Comic shops get their shipments on Thursday this week due to the U.S. holiday on Monday. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators are saying about this week's release, click the book link for more info and previews, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.

 From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin by Steven Brower

From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin
by Steven Brower (with Peter and Philip Meskin)

220-page full-color 9" x 12" hardcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-358-3

"From Shadow to Light: The Life and Art of Mort Meskin is a swell-looking history of a little-examined and little-known Golden Age artist who is only just now getting his due. Author Steve Brower and Fantagraphics provide the education." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6

"Fantagraphics presents a 220-page, 9.5″ x 12.25″ hardcover career overview by Steven Brower (w’ Peter & Philip Meskin), no doubt with many illustrations included. Introduction by Jerry Robinson." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics

"...[A] lavishly illustrated and sampled history... Mort Meskin... was the only Golden Age artist other than Lou Fine to make a specific impression on me before I was a teen..." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Fire, Water, Shadow and Light: Save 35% on our Bill Everett & Mort Meskin books!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven Browersales specialsnew releasesMort MeskinBlake BellBill Everett 8 Sep 2010 2:31 PM

Fire & Water + From Shadow to Light

Starting now for a limited time, order Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics by Blake Bell and From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin by Steven Brower together for just $51.99 — that's 35% off the combined cover prices!

(If you have already pre-ordered both books separately, please let us know and we will adjust your invoice.)

Now in stock: From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven Browernew releasesMort Meskin 2 Sep 2010 7:30 AM

Just arrived in our warehouse and ready to ship:

 From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin by Steven Brower

From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin
by Steven Brower (with Peter and Philip Meskin)

220-page full-color 9" x 12" hardcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-358-3

Add to CartMore Info & Previews

From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin is a coffee table art book, biography, and critique of one of the 20th century’s most influential and unjustly neglected Golden Age comic book artists.

Mort Meskin’s comics career spanned almost 30 years, from the 1940s to the 1960s. His drawing, chiaroscuro technique, and storytelling are considered by connoisseurs of the form to be among the most sophisticated of his time — on a par with peers such as Joe Kubert and Steve Ditko. His passion for his drawing was equaled by his skill, and the consistently high quality of his oeuvre in the disreputable comic book format blurs the distinction between high and low art. Yet he is known mostly among hard-core aficionados today, eclipsed in the history books by many of his peers, some of whom he profoundly influenced. Among Meskin’s fans and admirers are Jim Steranko, Alex Toth, Carmine Infantino, and Jack Kirby. From Shadow to Light: The Life and Art of Mort Meskin finally gives this neglected artist the recognition he’s due.

The first artist to draw Sheena of the Jungle, Meskin worked in such diverse genres as romance, crime, and Western comics. Following World War II, he formed a studio with Jerry Robinson. He later worked for Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, and later still with Stan lee at Atlas (Marvel). During the 1950s and ‘60s he helped DC Comics define their mystery and science fiction lines. From Shadow to Light compiles for the first time the best of Meskin’s art from his comic book career, his post-comics advertising career, and his fine art — including many pages reproduced from original art.

“Mort shifted gears/viewpoints/emphasis and methods throughout his career, each on another switch back, sidestep or leap ahead which brought just one more entertaining facet of his talent to the fore. Mort invented, questioned, assessed, discarded, tested, reached out... more than ten other cartoonist of his time — ever searching, finding, losing, winning... ah, but always learning. His restlessness kept him facile... as he learnt, tested, and applied... so did we, his observers and students.” — Alex Toth

“Mort Meskin was a consummate professional, dedicated to his work. A great talent.” — Jack Kirby

“Like so many others, Mort is one of comics’ unsung heroes, but time often has a way of resolving the situation.” — Jim Steranko

“The guy was terrific and had an influence, not only on me but on a hell of a lot of other guys that were in the industry. Carmine Infantino. Alex Toth. All they guys who came into the business at my time knew of Mort and knew of Mort’s stuff and loved it.” — Joe Kubert

“Mort Meskin was a genius.” — Jerry Robinson and Carmine Infantino

Download an EXCLUSIVE 15-page PDF excerpt (5.5 MB).

Daily OCD: 9/1/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven BrowerStephen DeStefanoPeanutsNorman PettingillMort MeskinMickey MouseFour Color FearFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDaily OCDCharles M SchulzCarol TylerBlake BellBill EverettBen Schwartz 1 Sep 2010 5:47 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Fire & Water: Bill Everett,  the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of   Marvel Comics [September 2010] From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin [Pre-Order]

Reviews: "Both of these books — Blake Bell's Fire and Water: Bill Everett, The Sub-Mariner, and the Birth of Marvel Comics and Steven Brower's From Shadow to Light: The Life and Art of Mort Meskin — do fine jobs of chronicling the artists' lives and careers. [...] The Everett book... is beautifully designed by Adam Grano and as much an art book as biography. Filled with great examples of Everett art — some of which is from the Everett family's own archives — this book opens up a whole new arena for appreciation of this almost lost seminal artist. The Mort Meskin book is fascinating, too. Brower and the Meskin sons do a great job in capturing what the artist was really like, both in his career and his home life. [...] Again, it's an impressive package (something I think Fantagraphics has become famous for) and a welcome addition to any comics fan's library." – Gary Sassaman, Innocent Bystander

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s [Pre-Order]

Review: "Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s is... a cool collection of stories that definitely would have given me nightmares if I read them as a kid. ...Fantagraphics... puts together a wonderful package once again. Some of these stories are almost unreadable, but all of them are enjoyable and strange and wonderful in their own way." – Gary Sassaman, Innocent Bystander

The Best American Comics Criticism

Review: "The Best American Comics Criticism, edited by Ben Schwartz, is a fascinating collection of assertion, appraisals, debate, reconsiderations, and recollections about comics. This thick, superbly-selected anthology features extremely well informed, exceptional voices... With a fantastically rendered cover by Drew Friedman (spot the critic!), this is a huge assortment of fantastic writing about a field that has had many parallels with and tendrils in rock and pop. If you’re yearning to own a non-music comics book of criticism that isn’t something from the academe yet still creates an alternate world of popular culture magic to teach how to rail and rave and expose and detail, The Best American Comics Criticism is the book to buy." – Chris Estey, The KEXP Blog

You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man

Review: "Fantagraphics always produces beautiful books, but this is one of my favorites they have ever published. [...] A few weeks ago, I carefully slid You’ll Never Know off the shelf. I was ready for it. It was time. It was a deeply emotional read. [...] The art and lettering is stellar in You’ll Never Know, filled with little details that make every page - especially full page panels. [...] You’ll Never Know is excellent example of autobiographical/biographical non-fiction sequential art, and has made my short list of favorite graphic non-fiction..." – Syndicate Product Covert HQ

Norman Pettingill: Backwoods Humorist

Plug: "Norman Pettingill is an underground cartoonist's underground cartoonist. His obsessive linework, his out-of-control hillbilly wonderland — and even his medium — wood, all make for a fascinating experience. And yes, the cover of this book is plywood." – Benn Ray (Atomic Books), Largehearted Boy

Lucky in Love Book 1: A Poor Man's History

Plug: Comix 411's Tom Mason spotlights Stephen DeStefano's Lucky in Love and his upcoming art show

Peter Bagge wall,

Feature: Seattle Weekly's Brian Miller previews the "Counterculture Comix" exhibit at Bumbershoot and talks to curator Larry Reid

Mickey Mouse - Floyd Gottfredson

Coming Attractions: "For me, and I admit I have specialized taste, the best news coming out San Diego was the announcement that Fantagraphics is going to reprinting Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse comic strips, which really was during the 1930s one of the great adventure strips. This will be hard for anyone who hasn’t read Gottfredson’s work to believe, but his Mickey Mouse was as rousing as Roy Crane’s Captain Easy and as rich in invention as Barks’ longer Duck stories." – Jeet Heer, Comics Comics

The Complete Peanuts 1977-1978 (Vol. 14) [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

Commentary: Mike Sterling remarks on pop culture references in the current volume of The Complete Peanuts: "Maybe it’s that Peanuts was just so much of its own little world that the occasional intrusion from outside really stands out."

From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoSteven Browerpreviewsnew releasesMort Meskin 18 Aug 2010 8:14 AM

 From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin by Steven Brower

From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin
by Steven Brower (with Peter and Philip Meskin)

220-page full-color 9" x 12" hardcover • $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-358-3

Ships in: September 2010 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin is a coffee table art book, biography, and critique of one of the 20th century’s most influential and unjustly neglected Golden Age comic book artists.

Mort Meskin’s comics career spanned almost 30 years, from the 1940s to the 1960s. His drawing, chiaroscuro technique, and storytelling are considered by connoisseurs of the form to be among the most sophisticated of his time — on a par with peers such as Joe Kubert and Steve Ditko. His passion for his drawing was equaled by his skill, and the consistently high quality of his oeuvre in the disreputable comic book format blurs the distinction between high and low art. Yet he is known mostly among hard-core aficionados today, eclipsed in the history books by many of his peers, some of whom he profoundly influenced. Among Meskin’s fans and admirers are Jim Steranko, Alex Toth, Carmine Infantino, and Jack Kirby. From Shadow to Light: The Life and Art of Mort Meskin finally gives this neglected artist the recognition he’s due.

The first artist to draw Sheena of the Jungle, Meskin worked in such diverse genres as romance, crime, and Western comics. Following World War II, he formed a studio with Jerry Robinson. He later worked for Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, and later still with Stan lee at Atlas (Marvel). During the 1950s and ‘60s he helped DC Comics define their mystery and science fiction lines. From Shadow to Light compiles for the first time the best of Meskin’s art from his comic book career, his post-comics advertising career, and his fine art — including many pages reproduced from original art.

“Mort shifted gears/viewpoints/emphasis and methods throughout his career, each on another switch back, sidestep or leap ahead which brought just one more entertaining facet of his talent to the fore. Mort invented, questioned, assessed, discarded, tested, reached out... more than ten other cartoonist of his time — ever searching, finding, losing, winning... ah, but always learning. His restlessness kept him facile... as he learnt, tested, and applied... so did we, his observers and students.” — Alex Toth

“Mort Meskin was a consummate professional, dedicated to his work. A great talent.” — Jack Kirby

“Like so many others, Mort is one of comics’ unsung heroes, but time often has a way of resolving the situation.” — Jim Steranko

“The guy was terrific and had an influence, not only on me but on a hell of a lot of other guys that were in the industry. Carmine Infantino. Alex Toth. All they guys who came into the business at my time knew of Mort and knew of Mort’s stuff and loved it.” — Joe Kubert

“Mort Meskin was a genius.” — Jerry Robinson and Carmine Infantino

Download an EXCLUSIVE 15-page PDF excerpt (5.5 MB).

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