Saturday, June 06, 2009

Art (Continued)

Now we've actually come to the end of the art section of my book collection and you would think that we'd be venturing into autobiography, but we're not -- not yet anyway; there's still a lot of art books left to look at. Howzat? Well, I actually have four book collections -- I have my regular books, I have autographed books, I have almost an entire bookcase of unread books, and I have books that won't fit on any of my shelves except this one (picture missing cuz Kim took the camera to Florida)

my topless bookshelf and that's where I keep the -- what else?-- oversized collection.
So let's look first at autographed art books.In my day , kids usually start off reading DC comics -- Superman, Batman, Flash, those guys -- and then when they got a little older they graduated to the more mature (or at least somewhat less hokey) Marvel comics group -- Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, those guys. Of course I did it just the opposite. I started out reading Marvel and I read very little other than Marvel until I became an adult and started discovering how much I had missed by turning my nose up at DC Comics. One of the things I missed was the art of Nick Cardy, who is probably most famous for his work on Aquaman and Teen Titans (his Wonder Girl was so sexy it's amazing she made it past the Comics Code Authority). And actually now that I think about it, I didn't really miss out on all of Mr. Cardy. Some of those early 70's DC covers were so compelling and so beautiful I just had to buy them and hope Stan Lee didn't see me doing so. And those covers were all by Nick Cardy -- well, Nick Cardy or Neal Adams, damn, maybe I liked DC more than I thought. Covers like these:

This book has lots of Cardy's comic art, but also movie posters and book covers and some fine art too. He's a talented artist -- and a nice guy, too. He signed my book for me at the 2002 Heroes Convention in Charlotte.

I've been winnowing down my comic book collection lately. Most of the stuff I'm keeping is because of the creators -- writer or artists and sometimes (though rarely) a great writer-artist team. There are very few characters that I'll keep no matter what. Mike Allred's Madman is probably at the top of the list, Baron and Rude's Nexus is way up there and so is Paul Chadwick's Concrete. Concrete is the most intelligent, thoughtful, philosophical comic I've ever read. Former speech writer Ron Lithgow is imprisoned in concrete as part of an alien experiment, but the stories are about his interactions with people, especially with his assistant Larry and Maureen Vonnegut who was assigned to study him and with whom Lithgow is in love. Mister Chadwick is not prolific, but when he puts out a new Concrete book it's always worth waiting for. The last one "The Human Dilemma" really took me by surprise and I can't wait to see what happens next --- although I'll have to since as I said he's not prolific. I've never met Mister Chadwick though I hope to meet him someday. I bought this book directly from him by mail.

More soon.


Mr. Big said...

I too remember buying that very same Flash just because the cover was so alluring. Do you know the year of that issue? I'm guessing somewhere between 1974-1977.

Norrin2 said...

I think it's earlier -- '72 or '73 if my rapidly-failing memory serves.