Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Art Out Of Time: Part Three

Continuing to offer my thoughts on Dan Nadel's Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries 1900-1969, I move on from the "Slapstick" section to "Acts of Drawing."

The first offering in this section is Charles M. Payne. His S'Matter, Pop follows a father who's besieged by these children prone to violence, accidents, etc. It was a pretty classic example of comics strips, nothing too exciting.

I did enjoy Fletcher Hanks' Stardust, The Super Wizard. Hanks' drawing style is really vibrant and just cool, with some really fun stories and superhero antics, unafraid of going over-the-top with silly powers and illustrating planets devestated by death.

White Boy by Garrett Price got plenty of page space. Eighteen strips was a little overkill, in my opinion, but I did enjoy them. And to be fair, it does take a few to get the appeal of the adventure strip among an Indian tribe and wildlife aplenty. Its naivety drew comparions to the childrens' prose series The Happy Hollisters, for some strange reason. It was just very...quaint.

I didn't really get the appeal of the strange Somebody's Stenog by A.E. Hayward. It was kind of imaginative, I guess, as we see the events surrounding a young secretary's life, but....sort of boring.

Jefferson Machamer's comics were really the creative ones. He incorporated things about comics into his strips, having his characters speak to each other about word balloons and the strip itself, like I find a lot of manga does. Very self-aware. Plus some characters will maneuver out of one strip to be part of another, etc. Machamer had a full page to work with in his Gags and Gals page, and took advantage of the fact, often having separate strips run the length of the top and bottom, differing with each page. The Gags and Gals comic took up the middle, the majority of the page, and had little scenes that for the most part, seemed to have nothing to do with each other and sometimes continued into the next day's offerings. Strange, but creative.

And then there's Rory Hayes. I became a fan of his when I went to The Cartoonist's Eye exhibit in Chicago last year and was first exposed to his work, his autobiographical nightmare world featuring teddy bears terrorized by demons. It's really fun, trippy stuff. Disturbing, bloody and violent, but fun. And sometimes it doesn't make sense, but that's alright too because it's a blast and I love Hayes' art.

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