Under the cut: Vun, two, tree, tree cool links, ah ah ah ah.
ITEM! Jeet Heer at Comics Comics declares Jack Kirby to be the embodiment of the 20th century, and I agree wholeheartedly. I’ll just quote the whole shebang here:
Jack Kirby Was the 20th Century. Jack Kirby was the immigrant crowded into the tenements of New York (“Street Code”). He was the tough ghetto kid whose street-fighting days prepared him to be a warrior (the Boy Commandos). He was the patriotic fervour that won the war against Nazism (Captain America). He was the returning veteran who sought peace in the comforts of domestic life (Young Romance). He was the more than slightly demented panic about internal communist subversion (Fighting American). He was the Space Race and the promise of science (Sky Masters, Reed Richards). He was the smart housewife trapped in the feminine mystique, forced to take a subservient gender role (the Invisible Girl). He was the fear of radiation and fallout (the Incredible Hulk). He was the civil rights movement and the liberation of the Third World (the Black Panther). He was the existential loner outcast from society who sought solace by riding the waves (the Silver Surfer). He was the military industrial complex (Nick Fury). He was the hippies who rejected the Cold War consensus, and wanted to create their own counterculture (the Forever People). He was the artist who tried to escape his degrading background (Mister Miracle). He was feminism (Big Barda). He was Nixon and the religious right (Darkseid and Glorious Godfrey). He was the old soldier grown weary from a lifetime of struggle (Captain Victory). There was hardly any significant development in American 20th century history that didn’t somehow get refracted through Kirby’s whacko sensibility. Jack Kirby was the 20th century.
This deserves to be spread around, because it’s a brilliant little thought. Kirby’s New Gods, especially, transmutes the cultural subconscious into cosmic opera, a defining commentary on the war– not just Vietnam, but WWII, Jack’s war, and any war before or since. New Gods will always be Kirby’s masterwork, and I say it’s maybe the most potent example of Heer’s theorem.
In another ninety years, when we’re all still reading this exact blog because of glorious life-extending drugs, the brittle-boned and bejowled future versions of ourselves will be declaring somebody else to be comic’s 21st century king. I’m taking bets now.
ITEM! Sean T. Collins writes a beautiful piece on All Star Superman over at the Savage Critics. Sure, we’ve read many reviews of the work, but there’s a reason for that– it’s just that damn good:
… All-Star Superman pits its title character, directly or indirectly, against an array of Superman manques. The key is that Superman alternately trounces the bad ones and betters the good ones not through his superior but morally neutral brains or brawn, though he has both in spades, but through his noblest qualities: Creativity, cooperation, kindness, selflessness, optimism, love for his family and friends. I suppose it’s no secret that for Morrison, the ultimate superpower of his superheroes is “awesomeness,” but Superman’s awesomeness here is much different than that of, say, Morrison’s Batman. Batman’s the guy you wanna be; Superman’s the guy you know you ought to be, if only you could. The decency fantasy writ large.
REMAKE/REMODEL: Warren Ellis’s “Chinese Whispers Uchronal Cover Remodel” challenge this week is to recreate the cover to the first prog of 2000AD. These guys have really stepped up their game. Prepare for graphic design awesomeness from Felipe Sobreiro, Chris Thornley, Andrew Jordan, and Tom Muller (click to embiggen):
As you can see, I like the minimalist ones, but there are all kinds over at the Whitechapel boards. Follow the link for many more awesome remodels; the deeper you go, the better they seem to get. I would buy so many of these if I saw them at my local comicatessen.
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