Caleb Orecchio here with thoughts on amazing, dumb back-issues that won’t leave my brain, and other news.
One of my favorite parts of comics culture is the scrounging for back-issues, which often feels like trying to find a lost wedding band in yesterday’s garbage—in a good way. I get a sincere rush from finding wacky crap from comic’s past. As I was scavenging the longboxes and finding some excellent garbage this past week, I was reminded of some things Chris Ware said in his recent RiYL interview:
“Most great works of art don’t work in the present, they work in the memory.”
“[Daniel Clowes] will draw things in a certain way, especially in his more recent work, that is very uncomfortable or strange. I know he’s looked at comics by cartoonists who might be considered awkward or almost naive just as a way of making an image that has–as I think of it, personally–hooks that hang in your brain and stay with you.”
In a recent back-issue find, Kull the Destroyer #19 (1976), there’s this sequence of “SHEMENON–THE GOD OF FIRE AND ICE–!” a wraith, a skeleton encapsulated in diamond whose “SOLE PURPOSE WAS TO FILL HIS CRYSTALLOID FLESH WITH LIFE!!” Very campy, classic mid-seventies Marvel stuff that the staff at The Comics Journal would have used as toilet paper. To read this comic in any way as to understand the narrative is a fool’s errand, and not worth the time of intelligent, discerning people. Yet! the images will not leave my mind! I find myself returning and going back over the fight between our hero and this jewel-encrusted executioner from hell!
Old dumb boy adventure comics featuring superheroes, barbarians and flights of action-packed fever-dreams tend to fall into the “Minor Prophets” category of the comics “Bible.” When all the history of comics is laid before us, it’s comics like Kull the Destroyer #19 that tend to get ignored for various reasons; but it’s these very kinds of comics that tend to infest our subconscious and become active images in our memory when least expected—like an annoying radio jingle or something.
Have you ever met a real Kirby-hater? Maybe you are one. You hate his comics for reasons others love him. People hate/love his weird knees, or they hate/love his square hands, or they hate/love the way he draws action or machines or whatever. Both parties remember the same things. Whether you like the art or not, the image is permanently branded onto the folds of your brain.
if you don’t know, now you know
- Ty Burr writes about How to Read Nancy, at the The Boston Globe, plus, the authors of said book, Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden, sit down for a radio interview.
- On the latest episode of Comic Books Are Burning in Hell, the boys talk about their favorite comics of 2017.
- Paul Tumey on Mark Campos, the Seattle mini comics maker at TCJ.com.
- The latest Process Party episode features Jason T. Miles, and on the same site, Study Group Comics, Will Tempest begins a web comic.
- Ryan C. has a guest spot on Your Chicken Enemy, he writes about Forsman’s Slasher.
Collected from the thousands of pages of material that Frank has left scattered all over the digital landscape, these 4 PDF collections contain Frank’s best writing on comics and comics making from the past decade. Theory and process, reviews and discoveries, journeys both physical and spiritual.
Suzy and Cecil – 1-29-2018 – by Sally Ingraham