Lyonel Feininger invented his own version of cubism, rubbed shoulders with Matisse, Gropius, and Kandinsky, and became one of the major painters of the first half of the twentieth century. But before that he was a master in illustration, caricature and, as seen in this book, he took a memorable excursion into the field of comic strips. This is the tale of a man born in America who came of age, chronologically and artistically, in Europe, and lived there most of his adult life. But much of his inspiration came from his childhood days in New York, the sights and sounds of a technological revolution imbedded in the soul of an artist....
recruited from Germany's highly respected cartoon journals. Feininger, an American of German extraction, living in Berlin and Paris since his teens, seemed especially well-suited to bridging the divide between the old world and new. Early in the twentieth century, European artists seemed one step less reluctant than their more culturally anxious American peers to go slumming in the "Low" arts. Only a handful of American painters of the period dabbled in cartooning (George Luks' work on the Yellow Kid comes to mind) but lots of esteemed European modernists —Picasso, Toulouse Lautrec, Gris, Kirchner, Kupka, Grosz, to name just a few—drew cartoons for publication either early in their careers or throughout. Feininger brought the most sophisticated tendencies in painting into the fledgling Funny Pages; his comics are thoroughly informed by the currents of cubism, expressionism and Jugendstijl, as well and evince the fascination for Japanese wood block prints that he shared with many Postimpressionists.
From Airships, Martians and Selenites by Alfredo Castelli
From Charles Forbell and Naughty Pete, an Appreciation by Chris Ware
From Just Imagine by Rick Marschall
panels, balloons, the signs and symbols of comic-strip expression. Indeed, just like the comic strip itself, fantasy transcends representational art and literary modes: it is a primal force, a basic instinct of humans. . .
From Perchance to Dream by Rick Marschall
Dream-premises offered the greatest thematic and artistic freedom, but realization of character and narrative was relatively restrictive in this genre. This seeming anomaly is explained by the exigencies of the comic-strip format – which was at once liberating and demanding. Later strips in, say, the adventure, crime, or detective genres, could leave story-elements to the readers' imaginations: they had to, in many cases. In dream strips, to leave story elements unexplained, or mysterious, or deeply unknown, is to compromise the integrity of the function of most narratives.Dreams are fragments, and seldom have internal logics, or at least coherent narrative thrusts. A commercial comic strip, however, clearly has a beginning, and must have an ending, even a cliffhanger. Further, the reader is in the unique position of being the audience – dream voyeurs we can consider ourselves – but also totally seeing everything the dreamer sees. This can be a pixilated ambiguity pregnant with nuance, carried to the extreme in Barnaby and Calvin and Hobbes, when readers are never quite sure if we view "reality" or the protagonists' fantasies.