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Rods & Cones

Today, historian and filmmaker Patrick Rosenkranz (whose own much-anticipated bio of S. Clay Wilson is imminent), writes about the art and comics collector, Glenn Bray, whose collection is featured in the recent Blighted Eye. Here’s a brief sample:

Bray is listed as author, but [Lena] Zwalve contributed as much to the book as he did, he insists. “During production she said you don’t have to put my name on it, because I’m all over the book already, but now she says she’s kinda sorry she did not take more credit.” She does get star billing in the acknowledgements at the end of the book, with the inscription: “Lena Zwalve, to whom my love and this book are dedicated.” Not the same as a shared byline, but he spelled her name right. Zwalve was the founding mother of Tante Leny Presenteert, a Dutch underground comic series from the 1970s.

Their home is not a museum, says Bray, a retired hardware store proprietor. “We live here. And we don’t charge admission.” He does rotate the exhibition periodically, and many visitors have asked to bring friends to view their wide-ranging artistic accumulations. Bray’s taste runs to the satirical and the surreal, mostly by artists from the second half of the 20th century, but also embraces the current crop of cultural curiosities. Harvey Kurtzman’s comic pages are well represented in this collection, along with fellow MAD artists Al Feldstein, Wally Wood, Jack Davis, and Basil Wolverton. The underground cartoonists have a large presence, especially Robert Williams, Rick Griffin, Robert Crumb, and S. Clay Wilson. More recent alternative cartoonists are also in the mix, including Dan Clowes, Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Chris Ware, Gary Panter, and Johnny Ryan. Several illustrators and fine artists from the early 20th century are represented, including Gluyas Williams, Virgil Finlay, Alan Odle, and the focus of his current fascination, Art Young.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—Interviews.
Granta talks to Adrian Tomine. The Quietus talks to Alan Moore, primarily about the influence on him of writer Iain Sinclair. Hogan’s Alley has posted their lengthy interview with Pearls Before Swine creator Stephan Pastis.

—Reviews & Criticism. Tom Gill continues his examination of Tsuge Yoshiharu. NPR looks at Frank King’s Walt Before Skeezix. Dominic Umile writes about I.N.J. Culbard’s Celeste.

—Misc. There are only a few days left to vote for the Eisner Awards. The Daniel Clowes Reader site has found some old OK Cola ads.

Chuck Dixon and Paul Rivoche wrote an editorial for the Wall Street Journal (Google Cache here) doubling down on the call for “conservative” comics written by their collaborator Amity Shlaes the other week. I will resist the urge to pontificate here, but will note that it’s strange how they elide over the fact that Superman’s most common early foes were ubercapitalist businessmen abusing labor…

Finally, the comics writer/editor/scholar (and TCJ.com contributor) Paul Buhle talked about his most recent book with Rick Perlstein on C-SPAN.


6 Responses to Rods & Cones

  1. steven samuels says:

    “In the 1950s, the great publishers, including DC and what later become Marvel, created the Comics Code Authority,”

    Apologists for the CCA? I mean, they’re right in that the mainstream to a great extent uses children’s characters to market their ultraviolence and how dubious that is but there’s more to it than just that.

    “Comics were a brotherhood beyond politics.”

    I can smell that flame war coming over the horizon now….

  2. Oliver_C says:

    Remember when Chuck Dixon was just a hack writer on ‘Alien Legion’? Good times…

  3. Tony says:

    Those times are today! The first issue of a brand new AL mini with Larry Stroman is out now:

    http://www.capsulecomputers.com.au/2014/06/alien-legion-uncivil-war-1-review/

  4. Tony says:

    I have to apologize for linking to that review. It was just one of the first links that came up on google search, but now that I read it, it’s totally moronic, especially regarding the art. Larry Stroman rules!

  5. Oliver_C says:

    Pshaw, ‘Alien Legion’ was never the same after Frank Cirocco left.

  6. Tony says:

    Relax grandpa I’ll get off your lawn now.

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