STAFF PICKS :: CLASSIC COMICS :: MAY 01, 2013

April 29, 2013 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

ANDY’S PICKS: The Classic Comics¬†Cavalcade[TM]¬†rolls on and on and on. ¬†I was forced to take a few¬†Staff Pick¬†sessions¬†off so I could stockpile and sell my blood and pay off my Heroes TAB. ¬†So, I’ll be brief… ‘cuz if I sit or stand for too long I get a might dizzy.
COMPLETE CRUMB COMICS TP VOL 05 HAPPY HIPPY (NEW PTG): Is R. Crumb the greatest comics creator of the past 40 years? I say, YES!, But I bet many of you think it is just my extreme anemia talking. There is only one way to find out if I’m telling the truth. ¬†Check out the new printing of Volume 5 of the complete Crumb. ¬†This affordable edition collects all of Crumb’s artwork¬†from 1968 and the first half of 1969 ¬†and includes Zap Comics #2 and 3 and all of Crumb’s published work from the long lamented¬†East Village Other. ¬†FOR ADULTS¬†(We really mean it!!)
JACK KIRBY OMNIBUS HC VOL 02: Okay, I have to be honest, we are at the end of Kirby’s illustrious career and his work is hampered by advancing age, but what a way to go. ¬†The Super-Powers mini-series are a hoot and you also get the single issues of Atlas, Manhunter and yes, The Dingbats of Danger Street. ¬† This volume collects: BLACK MAGIC #1-9, 1ST ISSUE SPECIAL #1, 5 and 6, RICHARD DRAGON: KUNG FU FIGHTER #3, THE SANDMAN #1-6, KOBRA #1, DC COMICS PRESENTS #84, SUPER POWERS #1-5 and SUPER POWERS VOL. 2 #1-6. ¬†FOR KIDS of ANY AGE!¬†(I mean it!)
WHAT LIES BENEATH  HC : Volume 3 of The Incal written by the weird, but brilliant film maker Alejandro Jodorowsky (Santa Sangre, El Topo) and gorgeous art by the late great Moebius at (arguably) his artistic peak! A must have FOR FANS of MOEBIUS! (Je le veux dire!)
JACK DAVIS EC STORIES ARTIST ED HC: Don’t make me say it again. ¬†Alright I will… you all need to have a healthy chunk of Jack Davis in your collection. ¬†Now thanks to those wonderful folks at IDW, you can revel in Mr. Davis’ comic art in its original size. ¬†Go over to the Art books/reprint section and take a look. ¬†It is not as good as advertised, IT IS BETTER!!! For EVERYONE (We mean it!)
See you next weak(heh)…ummm… is it getting dark in here?
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STAFF PICKS :: EC JACK DAVIS HC TAINT MEAT IT’S HUMANITY :: APRIL 10, 2013

April 08, 2013 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

JUSTIN’S PICK :: EC JACK DAVIS HC TAINT MEAT IT’S HUMANITY: Jack Davis is the cartoonist’s cartoonist, a man whose sheer command of his craft is universally praised. His style is at once elastic and iconoclastic; whether it’s horror or humor (or somewhere in between), Davis’ inimitable work is instantly recognizable. As a youngster, he was one of the first cartoonists I knew by name. And here’s a book to treasure: a lovely volume collecting all of Davis’ seminal work from EC Comics’ Tales From the Crypt. These are the comics that set an incredibly high bar for sequential art, and also caused a national uproar for their daring and graphic content. By modern standards they may seem tame, but make no mistake: this was heady stuff for its time. Davis was at the epicenter of that controversy, turning out highly detailed, expressive work that is matchless in its quality. Pick up this book (or IDW’s MAD Artist’s Edition, or Fantagraphics’ Jack Davis Drawing American Pop Culture, et al.) to find out why.

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FEAST YOUR EYES :: JACK DAVIS: DRAWING AMERICAN POP CULTURE

September 20, 2012 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Feast Your Eyes, Reviews

When you think of the comic artists with the most recognizable drawing style, the usual suspects immediately come to mind–Jack Kirby, John Romita, Neal Adams, et.al.
But there is one artist who ¬†is recognizable to almost every American (okay–of a certain age).
Now, when I was 10 years old I was a huge fan of MAD Magazine — it was the late 60s and arguably at it’s second creative peak. ¬†I was beginning to identify (and quantify) different art styles. ¬†That ¬†year, my father took me to a revival of his favorite comedy It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. I loved the movie. (a three hour comedy–why not??–give me a break– I was only 10)
The very next day, as I was still buzzing from that comedic onslaught, I spotted the ad for the movie in the local paper and I noticed the caricatures of all the comedians who appeared in the film and (gasp!) I recognized the artist.
It was Jack Davis from MAD. ¬†This changed everything!!! ¬†(Well, not really, but give me some artistic liscence here.) ¬†Once I saw this poster, I began to notice Davis’ art everywhere–More movie ads, Album covers, Magazine covers, cartoon advertisements.
And this book–Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop¬†Culture celebrates and showcases the drawings that made Jack Davis famous and even iconic to¬†three generations of¬†non-comic fans (civilians–bah!) who could recognize his art by sight but most certainly never knew his name.
And for over three decades, his art was everywhere–most notably– his regular gig as cover artist for TIME and TV Guide. This was during the years that¬†they were the two best selling magazines in the world. ¬†Millions enjoyed the Jack Davis drawings.
In addition to all the Jack Davis commercial art — the book includes a beautifully written and insightful biography by Fantagraphics Publisher Gary Groth–you may love him, you may hate him, but either way– he is a terrific writer who knows how to interview and his sentences just flow off the page. The book also includes testimonials from a number of iconic artists who laud Davis’ talent and influence. ¬†My only caveat: The book is brimming with¬†200 large pages of¬†Davis art and for $50.00, it is an ideal size and a reasonable price, but I came away from the book wanting more. ¬†I would have loved to see more art from the MAD heydays like:
But the book could have doubled or tripled in size (and price). ¬†What is included will certainly do–and do very well!!!
Now I know I’ve recommended a lot of high priced Comic Art Books, so the question you probably want answered is–how essential is Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop?
Simply put: ¬†Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find is kind enough to loan me books so I can read, analyse, review and then return. Once I was finished with it, instead of returning¬†Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop, I bought it. ¬†I had to own it. ¬†It is that good.
If the folks at IDW, Fantagraphics and other publishers continue to publish quality comic art books like this one –well, as¬†Chief Brody might say–“We’re gonna need a bigger coffee table
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