Ken Parille is back with another entry of his Grid column today. Topic: Independent-era Steve Ditko. An excerpt:
We have yet to appreciate Ditko the philosopher, Ditko the comedian. Many readers lament the artist’s move away from the formulaic superhero story into the uncharted terrain of the philosophical comic. “Why couldn’t he do something more like, maybe, Spider-Man or Doctor Strange?” wonders the bemused fan when confronted with medium-reinventing works like 1969’s “The Avenging World” or 1975’s “Premise to Consequence.” Readers puzzled by Ditko’s independent work or frustrated with its Ayn Rand-based politics should take a hint from the spirit of these comics: read them with a black sense of humor.
Also, Matt Seneca reviews the first issue of Michel Fiffe's Zegas:
Main character Emily Zegas opens the book by telling us, “I realized the apocalypse wasn’t a romantic concept.” She makes a good point, but we’re forced to take it with the gargantuan grain of salt that the accompanying picture provides: hand-painted waves of ochre and magenta swirl majestically over a flooding cityscape, masses of tiny featureless human figures gesture skyward, and the heavens split with beams of brilliant rose-colored light. It’s about the most romantic rendering of the apocalypse imaginable, not to mention a bold declaration of visual purpose.
1. James Sturm writes for Slate about the process of trying to get cartoons (examples given) into The New Yorker.
2. Drew Friedman curates an online mini-gallery of Basil Wolverton and Wally Wood covers for Plop!
3. The Harvey Award winners were announced.
4. Dan filled in for me earlier this week, so I didn't have to comment on Grant Morrison's Rolling Stone interview. His comments on Chris Ware and the Comics Journal were baffling, though I feel like others have done a solid job making sense of them, mostly by squinting, switching around adjectives and proper nouns that aren't there, and being generous. But really, generosity is probably the way to go with a dumb phone interview like that, that shows some signs of heavy-handed and possibly meaning-altering editing anyway. Even if not, it was obviously tossed off.
Still and all, in light of the interview, Rodrigo Baeza dug up a pretty funny blurb from GM's past, and then goes on to rightly point out that Morrison's comments on the treatment of Siegel and Shuster, in his new book and in repeated interviews, are both more considered and more disturbing than anything in this particular sideshow.
5. Finally, John Porcellino draws a page of Kirby/Lee's Fantastic Four, and shares what he learned from doing so.