Every so often I’ll be doing a roundup like this. Bits of this and that. Not a column so much as a few column-ettes. This time it’s a couple of cool books people sent me, some scattered thoughts on The Twlight Zone and its imitators, and checking in with everyone’s favorite giant gorilla.
I recently re-read the two-volume edition of American Flagg! jointly published by Image and Dynamic Forces in 2008, which reprints issues 1-14, and it holds up surprisingly well. It’s also surprisingly relevant in today’s political climate. Aside from being alarmingly prescient, it’s a perfect illustration of one of my adages, “satire is prophecy.”
Drew Struzan began his career as an advertising illustrator before finally becoming the most distinctive and acclaimed illustrator of movie posters, best known for his work on the Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter franchises. Long before he got to those iconic images, he made a whole lot of other movies look great, including some pretty terrible ones. Let’s take a look at a half-dozen:
I’ve gone round and round with this issue in my head a lot over the years. But it was our friends at Radio Vs. The Martians that gave it a name. Sam Mulvey calls it “the Card line.” And Mike Gillis refers to it as “the Cosby problem.” I think they use it to mean roughly the same thing… the place where separating the art from the artist becomes impossible. But the more I think about it, the more those examples seem to me to be two different things.
In recent years, there’s been a lot of press about comics starring girls and women; Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Squirrel Girl, plus less superhero-oriented fare like Gotham Academy and Lumberjanes. While much has been made about the emphasis on diversity, I think one of the reasons why these books are popular is that they are fun.
I have terrible taste in music. At least that’s what I’ve been told. If I put my iTunes library on shuffle, it won’t be too long before somebody asks “What the hell is that?” Most of my favorite bands are on the weird side, as I have a perverse fondness for genre-bending, combining two or more styles of music into one ill-conceived creature that should not be.