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That Time of Year

It’s National Avoid the Vomit in Midtown Day, which I am planning to celebrate by staying in and reading Paul Tumey’s review of the new George Carlson retrospective, Perfect Nonsense. Here’s a sample:

Of all the significant comic book artists of the twentieth century, George Carlson has been among the most magical and yet the most mysterious. Accomplished critics and historians including Harlan Ellison, Franklin Rosemont, Bill Blackbeard, Martin Williams, Ron Goulart, Martin Gardner, Gary Groth, Art Spiegelman, and Dan Nadel have championed George Carlson’s comic book stories. He’s been widely regarded as a master of Golden Age comic book art and graphic storytelling.

His imaginative, trippy work has been associated with various art and literary movements, including Surrealism, Dada, Art Deco, and Absurdist. Carlson’s stories have been compared to the works of literary masters Samuel Beckett and Eugène Ionesco. Miscellaneous reprints, all drawn from the 39 extraordinary comic book stories that originally appeared in Jingle Jangle Comics between 1942 and 1949 have kept the flame of interest in Carlson’s work alive over the last three decades.

Despite all this, information about the life and work of George Carlson, as well as any additional art beyond the Jingle Jangle stories, has been frustratingly skimpy.

Elsewhere:

—Lynn Johnston has donated a significant amount of her artwork to the Library and Archives of Canada.

—Andrew White interviews former TCJ podcaster Mike Dawson on the practicalities of being a cartoonist.

—Percy Crosby’s 1918 collection, That Rookie from the 13th Squad.

—And Timely-Atlas historian Dr. Michael J. Vassallo on Menace.


2 Responses to That Time of Year

  1. Tim, George Carlson was one of the artists who got cut out of our “Secret History of Marvel Comics” book. I’ve never found him a Timely comic book but he did a lot of work for Goodman’s magazines in the early 1940’s. He got less weight from us because we couldn’t point to any actual Timely comic book work, the main theme of the artist’s section. We should’ve made an exception!

  2. Tim! No, I was wrong! It was “Ralph” Carlson! I retract my initial comment above. So many Carlsons, so little time!

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