Essay posts

Preface to Mid-Life Creative Imperatives (Part 1 of 3)

Posted by on February 24th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
A few days ago Jeet Heer posted a historical-speculative essay over at Comics Comics titled “The Mid-Life Crises of The Great Commercial Cartoonists” that caught my attention. His premise is that a move from working within the paternalistic corporate structure of commercial comics to more independent creative work formed a pattern “common to commercial comic book artists of [Wally Wood’s]’s era.” His examples of this pattern were Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Gil Kane, and Will Eisner. Heer refines his premise thusly: “All these cartoonists started off as journeymen artists, had a mid-life crisis which made them try do more artistically ambitious work, but ended up being thwarted either by the limits of their talent or the constraints of marketplace.” After I read Heer’s piece, something was tugging at me, and I realized I’d touched on a similar theme in a piece I’d written 15 years ago.

The Wooden Boy: Onward and Upward

Posted by on February 23rd, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Angelo Patri’s Pinocchio in America is a a saga of immigrant boyhood in the U. S. A that actually enlarges upon the original's florid melodramatics and earthy vigor.

Why I’m optimistic about DC Comics’ new management team

Posted by on February 19th, 2010 at 2:19 AM

 

I have to say, the longer I think about DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson's selections to take over management of the company from outgoing publisher Paul Levitz, the smarter those selections look.

A Tale of Two Conventions

Posted by on February 19th, 2010 at 12:01 AM

T. Hodler has an interesting post on the Comics Comics website (looking very snazzy in its new digs, incidentally) touching on among other things the kinship between science fiction and comics fandom, which put me in mind of my

Lucky Jim: Very Good, Eddie

Posted by on February 12th, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Preston Sturges’s Diamond Jim the corpulent life and gastronomic loves of 19th-century entrepreneur and (as here depicted by Edward Arnold) zealous chowhound, James Brady — is (as directed by Edward Sutherland, from Sturges’ screenplay) a cheerfully sensual

Analysis: Rob Clough’s Top 100 Comics of the ’00s Part Two (of Two)

Posted by on February 11th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Clough concludes his overview of the best comics of the millennium's first decade.
©2002 Dan Zettwoch

Analysis: Rob Clough’s Top 100 Comics of the ’00s Part One (of Two)

Posted by on February 10th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
In assembling a top 100 list for 2000-2009, it's important to remember that for the first time, it's pretty much impossible to come up with something that resembles a definitive list that spans the world's output of comics. Any list you'll see by nature is a personal one, filled with all sorts of gaps and blind spots and slanted toward comics that might have had a particular impact on a reader at a particular time.

 

©2000 Steve Lafler

Analysis: Rob Clough’s Top 50 Comics Of 2009 Part Two (of Two)

Posted by on February 9th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Clough concludes his Best of the Year list.

Analysis: Rob Clough’s Top 50 Comics Of 2009 Part One (of Two)

Posted by on February 8th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Rob unveils his list of the 50 best comics of 2009.

 

Why Ebony White Isn’t Sassy

Posted by on February 5th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
The quote is a beautiful linguistic specimen because it shows what words can do when no thought is present. Hit on race and the brain gets shut off. That’s not the only reflex we have, but it’s common, especially when entertainment professionals are talking in public about what to do with a given property.

 

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