Monday, February 19, 2007

Comic nonsense

Hot in the heels of Fantagraphics Popeye collection is their reissue of animation legend Gene Deitch's little seen newspaper strip 'Terr'ble Thompson'. I love the angular style, I love newspaper strips and Terr'ble Thompson, although not exactly funny, is an awful lot of fun with a wonderful freewheeling sensibility. Highly recommended.
Fanatagraphics are going to be reissuing 'Pogo' again in what I guess will be a similar format to the Peanuts books, this is brilliant news as 'Pogo' is just beautifully drawn.
All this newspaper strip nostalgia has me reread one of my favourite newspaper strips 'Calvin & Hobbes'. after a few years of not looking at them and not only is it great to see them again but I'm struck by how much of an influence they were on me when I first started trying to do comics of my own. It took me a while to move beyond my early ideas of drawing which were a little more 'realistic' - nothing wrong with that kind of drawing of course, but although I (still) find it easier to draw like that and can do it very well (modest!) I just don't care for the results, I tend to think it looks like anyone could've done it and even a little mechanical. Anyway, loving Calvin & Hobbes again but in a bitter sweet way as Bill Watterson's (he's a bit of a hero of mine and not just because of his work) work is sorely missed even if there have been other brilliant strips since.
Seeing as I'm an a strip mood I've been trying to track down copies of 'Flook' by 'Trog' lately, I remember seeing this as a kid and enjoying it (even though it was going way over my head), the artwork was just so good.
Also read the TPB of Street Angel and it's brilliant, and utterly absurd - a young girl is the best kung fu skateboarding homeless not actual superhero ever and the scourge of deadly, and hopeless, ninjas that seem to crop up all over, and there's time traveling pirates, a neck breaking Jesus, blaxplaitation superheroes, a wereshark (coolness!) and loads of silly stuff that somehow works because it's hard to tell if it's serious or not. Check it out folks - Danny will cos I'm sending him my copy of the 1st issue.


Andrew Glazebrook said...

Paul said "I'm struck by how much of an influence they were on me when I first started trying to do comics of my own" Where would we be without influences ? A lot of the time its subconscious but it gets into your system,just s the last generation of artists influenced the last,the one before influenced them and so on.

kelvingreen said...

My natural style is a kinetic, cartoony thing, but for some reason, I've spent years fighting against myself to produce more "realistic" stuff, and it doesn't produce the best results. I don't know if that puts me in the same boat as you or not! ;)

I keep meaning to look at Street Angel. I'm fairly certain I had the first four or five issues in a box somewhere...

Andrew Glazebrook said...

I've linked to you from both of my Blogs !

paulhd said...

Cheers Andrew.