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A Few Notes on Wally Wood’s EC Stories Artist’s Edition

For a little while now IDW has been publishing a series of books consisting of actual-size color reproductions of original comic book art. The newest edition, and the only one I’ve laid my hands on (TCJ covered the Walt Simonson edition here, and there is also John Romita and Dave Stevens volumes) is by Wally Wood. It is easily one of the best books of comic art ever produced. It’s like the first Little Nemo book that Pete Maresca produced: An entirely new way to look at a comic art great; it’s also one of the finest books of drawings I’ve ever seen. It’s gone into a second printing which’ll be out in late May (pre-order it here). Wally Wood’s EC Stories: Artist’s Edition contains a choice selection of his best work for EC’s science fiction, adventure and crime comics, as well as a cover gallery, all drawn in the early-1950s while Wood was still in his twenties.

Here are a few thoughts:

1) The first time I opened it I thought: This is like a museum in a book. Like Marcel Duchamp’s Green Box (no, seriously), it’s a portable device for the transmission of artwork. What you get to spend time with is an artist fully immersed in his craft.

2) One of the crucial things about printing these in full color, as documents, is that you see the range in tones Wood was working in. Some blacks are blacker than others; brush strokes come to the surface; corrections, notes and cut-lines are all visible and additive; basically the entire history of each object sits there waiting for further consideration.

3) This is a fairly unusual way of publishing drawings — usually you get a book of drawings and of course they’re printed in color, but generally speaking they live inside white space, and your sightline is past the book. Not here. In this case the art dominates the book and absorbs all available views. It’s a remarkable thing, actually, kind of like standing in front of an enormous history painting at the Met: You’re in it.

4) And while it may sound nuts, Wood’s work here has what can only be described as charisma. That is, the best artworks just radiate an energy — it’s that ineffable thing we respond to when standing in front of, say, a drawing by H.C. Westermann or a painting by Francis Picabia: It radiates feeling. Wood has that. If you respond to artwork in general, you can’t not be effected by this.

5) The thing about Wood is that he was, of course, a master craftsman, but he was also a fan. He was, with enthusiasm and probably some chemical help, making the art he wanted to see. So unlike a lot of comic art, which is really meant to be read printed and colored, this work feels as though it’s meant to be seen (as opposed to read) like this — as drawing. Wood did not take shortcuts in this work — he was rendering way past what would ever be legible in printed and colored form, which is why the comic books look a little chunky in places. Even the large and crisp Russ Cochran reprints still have areas of obscured detail. This says something about the quality of Wood-the-cartoonist — that in some ways his early style was not the best suited for swift action, not like his later style was. But then again, this style, despite what it was used for (i.e. verbose, formulaic, but nonetheless enjoyable stories) is not really about moving the action along. It is, it turns out, about drawing. So there he is, just pouring every technique he has into sculpting bodies and forms. And the marks are shown as he drew them, which oddly does not demystify how he did it. If anything it’s even more mysterious, as the present size reveals yet more detail and nuance. That said, I would be remiss if I didn’t note that I’m also looking forward to smoothly re-reading the work as lines and type in the upcoming Fantagraphics Wood collection.

6) The image-heavy approach that comes to the fore in Wally Wood’s EC Stories Artist’s Edition is partly why it’s jarring to then dip into a Harvey Kurtzman-written story. A formalist, Kurtzman retrains in Wood’s expansiveness, but in return Wood seems to bare down even harder on the nib, making inkier and inkier faces so that Kurtzman’s filmic pacing achieves a kind of unbearable intensity.

7) Looking at this work this large you begin to realize what a spectacular filter Wood was. Here was this fan taking what he could from pulps and comics and photos and so you get things like “Project… Survival” page 2, wherein Wood gets to draw four archetypes, and does so with admirable gusto: The tortured hunky SF hero; the bald SF scientist; rocket machinery; all out apocalyptic warfare. Each of these he makes his own — they don’t feel derivative so much as iconic. And in this large-scale ontext they becomes a group of drawings as much as a page, so that you can take in Wood’s fevered images one at a time. These images would reappear in his work for the next couple decades; and not just his work — many, many other cartoonists and illustrators.

8) But Wood also belongs in the same category as someone like H.C. Westermann, someone drawing the American trauma. When you look at the full size art of Shock Suspense Stories No. 6 you see a really deep seeded evocation of the fear-aspect of “America” combined with an obsessive way of drawing: That looming klansman, who is fully 3 bodies wide; the ultimate pulp damsel, with her draped nightgown drawn into with a intensity that just seems absurd, really. There’s no “realism” here, but rather a heightened intensity that I have to think was process-related more than trying to achieve any kind of final image.

9) And then there’s “Home to Stay”, here printed so that Wood’s incredibly sexualized matriarchal figure dominates the space, and the care he lavishes on her in each panel sets her off from the rest of the drawing. This page also offers a class on technique: Past her brushy hair is a scratchy shorthand pen line patch of clouds; then there’s a precision-drawing architectural rendering of a perfect mid-century SF house; and then there’s one of Wood’s signature trees, which he always claimed to have modeled on Hal Foster’s trees — gnarled, some brush, some pen. The point is: These drawings open up worlds.

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37 Responses to A Few Notes on Wally Wood’s EC Stories Artist’s Edition

  1. patrick ford says:

    Looking at these images I immediately thought of Harvey Kurtzman’s comment on Wally.
    “I think he delivered some of the finest work that was ever drawn, and I think it’s to his credit that he put so much intensity into his work at great sacrifice to himself.”
    Maybe the only way the book could have been made more authentic would have been to have mixed nicotine tar into the printers ink.
    I love the idea of this series of books but aside from the Wood book the choices so far haven’t excited me at all. Wood is a perfect choice for a book of this type.

  2. Eric Reynolds says:

    “It’s like standing in front of an enormous history painting at the Met.”

    It’s even more than that, it’s like taking that painting off the wall of the Met and bringing it home with you to linger over in your living room for as long as you could ever possibly want to. I love this book. Nice piece, Dan.

  3. Kim Thompson says:

    I’d say Jaime Hernandez but his originals are so goddamn crisp and clean and perfect it would just look like a big-ass LOCAS book. You need Wite-out, coffee stains, paste-ups, pencil lines, blue lines, editorial notes for this stuff to be interesting.

  4. Briany Najar says:

    And fine (as in detailed) rendering, stuff that gets lost/compromised in translation.
    Maybe Al Williamson.
    John Hicklenton.
    Also, Herriman’s stuff looks a lot better “in the flesh.”
    Ken Reid’s early 70s Queen of the Seas would be a treat – shame hardly anyone knows about it. (It was in Odham’s Smash and IPC’s Buster, both UK weeklies)
    Druillet. (Epic Salammbo pages filling your visual field.)
    Dave Sheridan. Especially his horror type stuff. (In Skull? And/Or Insect Fear?)
    The latter half of Kevin O’Neill’s initial run on Nemesis the Warlock. (The interiors and the siege.)

    Hmm, I’ve veered away from giants of the (US mainstream) industry, but nevermind, it’s a bit o’ fun anyway.

  5. Zack Soto says:

    It’s easily one of the most beautiful books in my collection. I’d go so far as to say that this book alone justifies all those GI Joe comics IDW puts out.

  6. patrick ford says:

    Crumb would be a great choice.
    For mainstream work the obvious choices which come to my mind would be Ditko’s Warren stories, the Barry Smith RED NAILS. Kaluta’s early ’70s work like the ERB Venus stories, THE SHADOW, and SPAWN OF FRANKENSTEIN, and of course I suppose Frazetta would be high on many lists.
    It’s artists who are inking their own work, and putting a great deal of sweat into the rendering who are going to shine in this kind of format, not really the same thing as the Hernandez, Toth, Swatre style of clean line.

  7. Zack Soto says:

    OH yeah, a Crumb’s HUP Artist Edition would probably make me cry with delight.

  8. Briany Najar says:

    Speaking of Warren (as Patrick was), there’s some really superb richly rendered pieces by Pat Boyette in there (The Painting in the Tower) and in at least one of the SkyWald mags (The Vow) that could most likely bear fuller scrutiny.

    Man, I haven’t got the real estate for all the comics I’d like to see full size.
    How about a perpetually touring exhibition instead?

    As for notation and such, I wonder what the originals of Le Garage Hermetique are like, seeing as it’s an improvised work.
    And what about Rick Veitch’s dream-based Rare Bit Fiends?

  9. Tony says:

    My my, the aloof audience of the The Comics Journal taking the first opportunity to indulge in the same kind of quaterbacking publishing daydreaming wishlisting than lesser, insular circles of the fandom are so fond of…

    http://marvelmasterworksfansite.yuku.com/reply/514718/Things-I-would-love-to-have-in-an-IDW-artist-s-edition

    http://www.606studios.com/bendisboard/showthread.php?209857-IDW-Superduper-ultra-Artist-s-Edition-thread!!

    http://marvelmasterworksfansite.yuku.com/topic/17850/Future-IDW-Artist-s-Editions

  10. J.T. Dockery says:

    Man, o, man. I can’t believe I don’t own this book.

  11. Kim Thompson says:

    I don’t know if anyone has pointed this out, but IDW is going back to press on it. Which is good because I never got my copy.

  12. patrick ford says:

    Dan mentions it in the article and provides a link. I was going to mention Tom Spurgeon had provided a link, but he didn’t.
    BTW I’m pretty sure a US edition of the Woodwork Catalogue published by Solleric is in the works. The B&W in colour presentation of TO KILL A GOD in that book is worth the price. That story was words version of “They think I’m past my prime.”

  13. Peter Sattler says:

    I must say, I don’t get it. Everything in these pages — as in so much Wood work from of the period — seems overwrought, a endless collection of details and doodads draped over stiff and unconvincing human forms.

    And “forms” seems like the right word. Look at the figures in “Home to Stay.” They barely seem to occupy the same space with each other, not to mentioned the space of the world around them — with the strained perspective of that pool (?) or mis-proportioned taller tree in the background. (Look at its top, drawn as if the thing were reaching to the sky, and now the bottom, modeled as if you were looking down on it in miniature. The whole thing seems to tilt or bend away from you. And how far would you say the people are from its base?)

    One could say the same thing about the top tier of the Weird Fantasy page. Faces and features change with each perspective, until they barely seem like the same people. Bodies exist in untenable relation to the space around them and to each other. How, for example, would one describe the connection between the first figure and that preposterously thin, low railing? Note where his feet hit; now his hands; and now the angle of his arms. The bottom half of his body barely belongs to the top half. (And how will the guy from Panel 3 fit through that doorway?)

    I’ll agree with one thing that Dan says, in reference to Shock SuspenStories cover (the exact same woman from below!). These pages are drawn with “an intensity that seems absurd.”

    I’ll buy that. Every fold, rivet, star, button, branch — a clogged world of deadening effect, all screaming “Future!” or “Fantasy!” These are “closed” worlds, hermetically sealed and airless. An absurdly intense set of drawings accompanying EC’s absurdly intense stories.

    (I do like like when the “Shock” dress hits the ground and stops being a dressing, transforming into a tangle of roots. Now that is truly and honestly unnerving.)

  14. Peter Sattler says:

    If this comment is meant to help us better appreciate Van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece, then I am with you 100%. Indeed, there’s a wonderful site that allows you to zoom in on this work to an breathtaking degree:

    Closer to Van Eyck:
    http://closertovaneyck.kikirpa.be/#viewer/id1=37&id2=0

    But if its meant help me to cut Wood’s comics some slack, I guess we’ll have to differ. When I look at Van Eyck, I see an attention to the subtleties and shape of the human form (see the Ghent Adam or Mary), as well as mastery of perspective and space (see the Arnolfini Portrait). It’s not that these cannot be altered, adjusted, or ignored for effect — but what effect would you say that Wood is going for?

    Pat, you mention above Kurtzman’s praise for Wood’s drawing and work ethic. But that praise was often tempered by — or, actually, was often thrown in to temper — his much more chilly comments about Wood as a comic artist. His work, Kurtzman says repeatedly, was always and irredeemably “stiff,” as if his characters’ joints were made of cement.

    Kurtzman even said that, at least where their collaborations were concerned, whatever movement or suppleness Wood’s figures had came from Kurtzman’s own layouts.

  15. patrick ford says:

    Sorry, my old timey browser won’t work with your link. I do have Jacques Lassaigne’s book FLEMISH PAINTING: The Century of Van Eych where there are many examples of art I’ve often seen described as stiff looking compared to later (Rembrandt) Flemish art.
    Van Eych could be seen as perhaps a bit more of a realist to some eyes than Dirk Bouts, or Joos van Ghent, but a painter like Hugo van der Goes is moving away from the formal posed qualities found in the mature van Eych.
    The very qualities you dislike in Wood’s art are what Wood’s fans (including Kurtzman) see as his attributes.
    Wood doesn’t rank anywhere near as high on my list of favorite cartoonists as Kurtzman, but I don’t want another Kurtzman or wish Wood’s art was more like Kurtzman’s.
    Comparing Wood to Kurtzman is like comparing John McCrady to Reginald Marsh.
    There is just a very wide range of artwork which appeals to me, and some that doesn’t.

  16. words lapidary says:

    Your comment is very close to being a description of what’s great about Wood. His work is a heightened and absurd vision of reality that adds a new level to these genre stories, especially the socially conscious parables in Shock Suspenstories. Wood is less interesting for me when these aspects are exploited in outright parody like the much-lauded Superduperman, but his overheated weirdness adds something marvelous to these “serious” pulp tales. However, that layer of exaggeration and absurdity is not an unintentional element of kitsch but a key to the EC style, which sails widely past tone-deaf critics who have dismissed these artist’s contributions as “craft”.

  17. Briany Najar says:

    Dear boy, you’re missing all of the subtle distinctions that set us apart from those plebians.
    For instance, I was smoking Gauloises when I posted my comments – couldn’t you tell?

  18. Scott Grammel says:

    Peter, it’s not you; there are some fine pages and covers in the book, but Dan’s choices to discuss in this essay are all unfortunate. I held off on buying a copy until I’d seen a list of the stories and covers included, as just about all of Wood’s EC work before 1953-dated issues leaves me more or less cold. Not that that cut-off date signals the complete end of awkward compositions, stiff figures, or other such problems, of course; virtually the entirety of Wood’s career shows him wrestling with the temptation to let his virtuoso inking compensate for half-ass penciling.

    Of all the classic creators assured a position in the comics pantheon, Wood has long seemed to me to be the most problematic.

    Oh, and if Wood was drawing like Van Eyck in that linked image, there wouldn’t be a problem even worth discussing in the first place.

  19. Kim Thompson says:

    I guess there’s a reason that just about all the EC cartoonists who went to Marvel (Craig, Wood, Severin, and of course the multi-Eisner-inker-award-winning Williamson) ended up predominantly as inkers. I used to think Marvel’s reluctance to use them as pencilers/designers (presumably because they were insufficiently “dynamic” in a 1960s/1970s HOW TO DRAW COMICS THE MARVEL WAY way) was just another instance of smug insularity on Marvel’s editors’ part… but now I’m not so sure.

    Non-EC alum Bill Everett, too, although in his case his pencilling style was just so old-school daffy it only worked for that crazy retro SUB-MARINER revival.

  20. R. Maheras says:

    Patrick — I spent quite a long time going over all of Crumb’s “The Book of Genesis Illustrated” original artwork when it was on display at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and it was a fascinating experience. Some of the pages were pretty clean, but others had whiteout corrections, visible pencil lines, etc. It’s fun to see how a master works.

  21. R. Maheras says:

    I was in Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles the day the book was delivered, and because I didn’t have the cash on me, and did not want to charge it, I didn’t buy it. Even worse, because I asked, I knew it was their only copy.

    How f@%!??ing stupid can a seasoned fanboy like me be?

    I mean, I did not hesitate to pull the trigger in San Diego on Day 1 when IDW unveiled their Dave Stevens art book.

    What was I thinking????

  22. patrick ford says:

    Kim, Your theory only works if you think Herb Trimpe, Sal Buscema, Marie Severin, Werner Roth, Dick Ayers, and Larry Lieber, were better pencilers than Al Williamson, Craig, and Wood.
    Also Wood did almost nothing for Marvel in the ’60s, I’m not sure if Williamson or Craig did anything at all for Marvel in the ’60s.
    Lee wanted pencilers who could plot. Wood could plot, but quit after a few issues because Lee wouldn’t pay or credit him with writing, and when Lee relented for one issue it caused so much friction Wood quit right after that. When Ditko insisted on being paid and credited for plotting Lee cut Ditko off, wouldn’t so much as speak to him. Ditko has been absolutely clear it was Lee who refused to communicate.
    See, when you get paid for plotting it’s taking a cut out of the writing page rate.
    I do agree Wood’s pencils were much improved by the ’60s-’70s and the real attraction of his work always remained his surface.
    I can’t imagine anyone questioning Williamson’s draftsmanship compared to 90% of the pencilers who ever worked for Timely-Atlas-Marvel.

  23. Bill Batz says:

    I can’t believe the comments about bad composition and stiff drawing, the guy is a master! This is 1950′s comic art at it’s best!Kurtzman drew bow legged people so what, he’s awesome , Dan De Carlo drew stiff as hell, guess what? he’s awesome too. Buy the book and shut up.comparing Flemmish painters to comic book artists is futile, not to mention stupid as hell. Those comic artists banged this stuff out in a week or two, painters spend months on their art, two different animals.If you feel nothing when you look at Wood’s art I can’t help you.

  24. Kim Thompson says:

    Just to be clear, I have no theory and am not questioning anyone’s draftsmanship. I’ve just long been somewhat puzzled by the EC-artists-go-to-Marvel-and-ink syndrome, and Peter Sattler’s comment on Wood’s penciling sort of reminded me of that.

    As a fan I liked the Marie-and-John-Severin KULL work and the Trimpe-and-Severin HULK work better than John Severin (at least of that period) solo, by the way. I haven’t gone back and scrutinized this work in several decades, so any opprobrium thrown my way over this grievous lapse in taste should be aimed at my 15-year-old self.

  25. patrick ford says:

    Did Craig do any work for Marvel in the ’60s? I only bought Marvel comics for a short time in the early ’70s and recall Craig showing up in their Mystery type books, I think as a writer/artist.
    Craig was certainly a better writer, and editor than anyone at Marvel in the early ’70s.
    He was the second best writer and editor at EC in the ’50s.
    If he did ink for Marvel in the ’60s I’d assume it was because he refused to write without being compensated for it. That’s why Orlando, Powell, Wood, and Toth all quit working for Marvel in short order.
    Wood said he met with Lee and said since he was doing the writing, he wanted to be paid and credited for it; he said Lee just stared at him in silence.

  26. patrick ford says:

    Russ, I envy you. Crumb would be my number one choice for a book of this type. It isn’t even close really.
    Crumb (like Wood) is one of those “He left everything on the field,” artists. Everything he does, is like he’s selling blood.

  27. Alexandre Buchet says:

    About EC artists in ’60s Marvel:
    Craig was an inker over John Buscema, Marie Severin, and George Tuska, inter alia; he penciled and inked one Iron Man story, a voodoo-filled tale written just for him by EC überfan Archie Goodwin. I believe he was working in advertising at the time– inking was probably just some easy money to pick up. He also wrote and drew a couple of stories for the ‘mystery’ titles. Remember that Craig was, according to Bill Gaines, an agonisingly slow artist.

    Wood gave up on penciling the superhero books, but he kept on inking right throught the sixties for them, and in fact came back to penciling right at the end of the sixties (Doctor Doom.)

    Severin enjoyed inking guys like Trimpe because of his simplicity. It was, again, easy cash in addition to his main gig at Cracked.

  28. Rob Clough says:

    That Iron Man issue is #14, featuring “The Night Phantom”, a very spooky-looking character. One of the few mainstream comics I’ve kept from that era.

  29. patrick ford says:

    I had no idea Wood worked for Marvel as an inker right through the ’60s. That doesn’t fit with what I’ve read. My understanding is he came in on the heels of Joe Orlando in 1964, worked on a few issues of Daredevil, had a dispute with Lee, did a bit more inking in 1965, and was gone until the early ’70s when he did a few things.
    http://wallywoodnet.blogspot.com/

  30. James says:

    Wood needed the work, so no matter how well he recognised Stan Lee’s exploitative nature he was trapped, like so many others.

  31. patrick ford says:

    Not really, he left to create work for Tower, and didn’t return until 1971.

    I had a story conference with Stan and we hashed it over. He really didn’t seem to have any ideas, but we worked out a plot, and he sent me the synopsis. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. In one line, Stan indicated that he wanted a three-page fight sequence, in a garage, or whatever. Nothing else. So I called and asked him what I should do. He said, “You know, throw some tires around, do something with some oil, make it up as you go.” Well, that didn’t help. I’m not used to working that way. I like a full script.
    -– Joe Orlando (who replaced Bill Everett as artist on Daredevil)

    Stan was the scripter, but I was coming up with most of the ideas. It finally got to the point where I told him that if he was the writer, he’d have to come up with the plots. So, we just sat across the desk from one another in silence.
    –Wally Wood (who replaced Joe Orlando as artist on Daredevil)

  32. Scott Grammel says:

    A tardy appreciation for Flint Henry’s Grimjack work finally got me to fully appreciate the energy such quirky artists as Ayers and Trimpe bring to their pages, and not despite their limitations as draftsmen but in part because of them. As fond as I personally am of the realist tradition in comics, even I had to admit there was something about the comics form that preferenced the personal over the perfect, the odd over the objective. And Stan Lee was smart enough to see that the marriage of their pencils combined with the surface detail, solidity, and weight of John Severin’s inking worked marvelously.

    I did want to post here that anyone worried that they almost missed out on this Wood Artist’s Edition should probably start worrying about the Eisner Spirit Artist Edition coming out next month, I think. Last I looked, for example, Tales Of Wonder stopped taking pre-orders. Not a good sign.

  33. Mike Hunter says:

    —————————–
    Kim Thompson says:

    I guess there’s a reason that just about all the EC cartoonists who went to Marvel (Craig, Wood, Severin, and of course the multi-Eisner-inker-award-winning Williamson) ended up predominantly as inkers…

    Non-EC alum Bill Everett, too, although in his case his pencilling style was just so old-school daffy it only worked for that crazy retro SUB-MARINER revival.
    ——————————

    Also, after Ditko left, Everett pencilled and inked some fine issues of Dr. Strange too. A tough act to follow, but he did outstandingly!

    No interior pages online, but these covers give an indication of the grace and drama Everett brought to the Sorcerer Supreme:

    http://popculturepalace.blogspot.com/2010/09/top-ten-comic-book-covers-january-1967.html

    http://imgc.allpostersimages.com/images/P-473-488-90/51/5127/D4JEG00Z/posters/bill-everett-strange-tales-150-cover-dr-strange-and-umar.jpg

  34. B9000 says:

    @Mr Sattler

    “And “forms” seems like the right word. Look at the figures in “Home to Stay.” They barely seem to occupy the same space with each other, not to mentioned the space of the world around them — with the strained perspective of that pool (?) or mis-proportioned taller tree in the background. (Look at its top, drawn as if the thing were reaching to the sky, and now the bottom, modeled as if you were looking down on it in miniature. The whole thing seems to tilt or bend away from you. And how far would you say the people are from its base?)

    One could say the same thing about the top tier of the Weird Fantasy page. Faces and features change with each perspective, until they barely seem like the same people. Bodies exist in untenable relation to the space around them and to each other. How, for example, would one describe the connection between the first figure and that preposterously thin, low railing? Note where his feet hit; now his hands; and now the angle of his arms. The bottom half of his body barely belongs to the top half. (And how will the guy from Panel 3 fit through that doorway?)”

    I hate to say it, but I don’t understand this criticism at all. The trees are fine in “Home to Stay,” they are miniatures. I don’t see them bending away.

    And as a fairly big man myself, and someone with an acute wariness of heights, I can attest that there are many places where there are “preposterously thin, low” railings like the one in “Project Survival.” In fact, the little sequence seems to me a fairly realistic depiction of the haphazard environment of a factory floor, especially a pre-OSHA codified one. (Comic book “futurists” are only products of their own times, after all.)

    Off topic, I just wanted to mention that the “Spaceman” cover has a real 60′s Steranko “Nick Fury” look to it, even though it is from at least a decade earlier.

  35. Kim Thompson says:

    I think that’s exactly right. A Trimpe/Severin HULK is almost certainly better than a Severin solo HULK would have been. This doesn’t mean Trimpe is “better” than Severin in any sense of the word, any more than the fact that DIE HARD is probably the best possible DIE HARD there could ever have been means Bruce Willis was the best actor of his generation.

  36. Jordi Górriz says:

    From what I remember after reading a long ago Panofsky’s “Perspective as Symbolic Form”, flemish artists didn’t have the same approach to matters of space and depth the italians had, they may don’t have method, the maths or the synthesis of some Piero della Francesca or Paolo Ucello, but it is precisely their naturalistic and intuitive approach what makes them interesting. It may seem far-fetched, but Wally Wood reminds me somehow that lack of unity which forces you to stop and observe/enjoy every single aspect of his drawing and his style. And following with Panofsky’s analogy -and in the spirit of what I think Dan Nadel said about Wood as ‘being a fan’- Wood’s ability to quote reflects the iconographic-iconologic dimension much better than other artists of EC.

    Big fan of this discussion by the way!

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