Silent Partners

Hi. Today on the site we have Paul Tumey discussing the recent (and excellent) Basil Wolverton book from parent corporation Fantagraphics, and a little more, too.

This volume, the first of two, or perhaps three, in an art-filled biography, covers Wolverton’s life from birth and childhood up to the first few years of Spacehawk and the first shakings of Powerhouse Pepper, landmarks in Wolverton’s career and features that will be familiar to any fan. The book is roughly eighty-percent art and twenty-percent text. Sadowski’s well-written, densely detailed narrative is organized into chapters of illustrated biography separated by generous chunks of “art pages,” which have their notes. This is a thoughtful and successful design.

One of the interesting things about Sadowski’s books is that he manages to find a way to showcase reprints of carefully selected and restored comic art without sacrificing detailed narrative and notes. In his 2009 book, Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941 (which includes some Wolverton comics), Sadowski hit upon the scheme of presenting his selected stories up front as a thick portfolio, with a second section of detailed commentary on the stories and their contexts in the back. One can read these books just for the comics, or for the full experience offered. It works well both ways.

Charlie Hebdo: Curators Glenn Lowry and Anne Pasternak on NPR about the art and the attack.

I'm gonna guess that Ta-Nehisi Coates, who I usually enjoy, is not responsible for the regrettable headline for this short little enthusiasm burst about Matt Fraction and diversity in superhero comics.

Interesting piece in Art in America about "appropriation", this time involving two very cartoon-influenced artists. I know both artists involved, and it's sorta sad but also, if you read between the lines, very telling about today's market and, if I was gonna take it further, what might be called social media-driven art. But that's another story.

And hey, Congo or no Congo, here's a new auction record set for original comic art with this Tintin piece.


5 Responses to Silent Partners

  1. Martin Wisse says:

    What’s the problem with that title? Just the fact it refers to comics when it means superhero comics?

  2. jude Killory says:

    Dan I feel like I’ve been left hanging; I think I agree more with Jamian Juliano-Villani on this issue. “and it’s sorta sad” any chance you can write more about this? I feel that Villani used/stole/appropriated Tepin’s half filled letters font but overall the two images are vastly different. I also feel that Villani makes a good point about how much Tepin is using/stealing/appropriating from not one but two different artists. Thank you for posting the link to this article. I would love to hear more about your opinions on this.

  3. Image Truths says:

    There’s a good conversation happening about Jamian Juliano-Villani at
    Teplin’s appropriation is very different from Jamian Juliano-Villani’s. Teplin was asked to update the mural and never concealed his or the original muralist’s role in creating the work.

    Teplin’s letter imaging isn’t the first time JJV “appropriated.” Cutting/pasting from obscure sources unfamiliar to her audience is intrinsic to JJV’s work and it isn’t discussed to the degree that it should be. Check out the instagram account @imagetruths . JJV lifted animation cells from Ralph Bakshi as the central image for one of her paintings and a theme throughout a group of paintings but interviews with JJV and in Modern Painters which discussed this particular series of paintings, didn’t even mention Bakshi. I believe that there’s a difference between claiming you’re inspired by an artist and using their images to the degree that JJV does. JJV and her fans are very defensive about this and want to believe that the appropriation discussion is simply over. I don’t think it’s quite that simple.

  4. Jamian Juliano-Villani says:

    Hey Imagetruths (I’m assuming Scott? I’ve been following the IG), if you really have a problem with me putting your mural in my painting, stop complaining to the internet and talk to me personally like an adult. Get a grip, dude.

  5. Image Truths says:

    I’m not Scott Teplin. I don’t have to confront anyone personally to discuss their artwork. Your defensiveness makes it obvious that you aren’t open to discussing this issue. Issues of appropriation in art aren’t resolved just because you say they are.

    The criticism levied against you extends beyond Teplin’s work and you know that because of the IG account.

    Here was the Imagetruths IG response:

    “If JJV didn’t like this kind of talk about her paintings, she should make different paintings. This is a worthwhile convo that can’t just be brushed off by JJV’s young fans & investors or people ignorant to JJV’s “sources.” It is irrelevant if Bakshi belatedly gave his permission to JJV & the dates suggest that the permission happened afterwards anyway – sorry @sonah_nav but the interwebs work faster than print media. Sturtevant & Doeringer & other “appropriation” artists can easily be raised in discussing JJV’s work. JJV may be deliberately seeking more & more obscure sources that she’ll alter slightly or sometimes outright cut and paste, but that only makes the point for the relevance of this convo. It is disingenuous to claim that this painting is influenced or informed by Bakshi. JJV’s cutting & pasting of obscure sources is not a one off, but intrinsic to her work. Does looking at the original source impact the way we view this piece & her artistic persona? Yes.”

    Your response: variations on: dude, move on!

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