Sunday, June 04, 2006

Art Out Of Time: Part Two

Following up on my first entry on Dan Nadel's Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionsaries 1900-1969, I will move on from the "Exercises In Exploration" section of creators to "Slapstick."

Now Vaudeville-like humor like from Milt Gross' work really isn't my thing. I think his Nize Baby is drawn well, but it kind of bugged me, especially the thick dialect. His Pete the Pooch (from Milt Gross Funnies #2) was a little better. The panels were bigger and it was a quick read, although the characters were still really obnoxious. It was kind of strange to see six panels from Nize Baby (from page 66) recycled and used again exactly in Pete the Pooch (pages 76-77). It was kind of a bizarre scene in the first place, so I don't know why he thought it needed repeating.

Stan Mac Govern's Silly Milly was a little better. His work was displayed in several short strips. They were kind of hit and miss, but overall, I enjoyed them more than Milt Gross' work.

Now I really did like Dick Briefer's "Frankenstein and the Sorcerer" from Frankenstein #4. It was easily my favorite of everything I've read in the book so far, following Frankenstein's monster and his group of monster friends, as his friends set up a surprise "Invention Party" for Franky and then the monster relates how he got a modeling contract. Still silly (and kind of dark sometimes), but in a good way.

Jack Mendelsohn's Jacky's Diary was also quite enjoyable. This strip is illustrated in faux-children's art, from little Jacky's perspective. It's really cute reading this kid's idea of what was going on at the circus because he really just didn't understand some things and got words wrong often (he thought the announcer called for a Human Cannibal, and the Cannibal was shy so he hid in a cannon without taking a bite out of anyone, before he ws blasted off accidentally). there's also a little camping scene at the end of the circus strip, and a fishing expedition. It was all really fun to go through.

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