<<•>> edited by Dan Nadel <<•>> The long awaited follow up volume to Nadel's pioneering 2006 anthology of rarely seen and under appreciated comics, Art Out of Time, has at last arrived! This time around we have a tighter focus. While much of the work contained in Art of Time originally appeared in newspapers and broadsheets, all the work contained in this volume originally appeared in comic book form between 1942 and 1980. Extending and expanding his mission to bring art world curatorial standards to comics, Nadel has provided an informative introduction to the book as a whole, along with separate one-page explanations of the underlying reasoning behind each of the thematically groupings into which the work is divided: "Demand and Supply," "Where They Were Drawing From," "It's All In the Routine," and "Expansive Palettes." The artists included here range from the golden age superhero work of H.G. Peter and Mort Meskin, through the post-WW II "atomic age" genre work of Bill Everett, Matt Fox, Jesse Marsh and Pete Morisi, and also including early work focused on hardboiled detective, Sam Hill, by the one and only Harry Lucey, who is best know for his 1960s work on Archie Comics. Another artist whose work included here ranges far from their iconic work is John Stanley, who is best known for his multi-decade run Little Lulu. Nadel has dug up a couple of obscure horror tales from 1962 that should be quite a surprise to most Stanley collectors. Also from the 1960s we have Sam Glanzman's Kona and Pat Boyette's career high, the 25 page, "Children of Doom" from 1967. Heading into the underground era we have fairly obscure yet nonetheless era-defining work from Willy Mendes and John Thompson. And, finally, on the cusp of the undergrounds and the alternative revolution that supplanted them is Sharon Rudahl's 34 page epic, The Adventures of Crystal Night, is presented here in its entirety. Essential, we say.
Wow! Dark Horse really did it right this time and has produced a book worthy of the great Jesse Marsh art it contains. Their first Tarzan Omnibus is a joy to behold. Collecting just shy of 700 pages of spectacular full color comics by the great Jesse Marsh and employing pitch perfect production throughout, this book is an instant Certified Copacetic Classic.
As to the stories themselves. They start out strong in the tradition of adventure comics in the early stories by Robert Thompson, but later, after the introduction – out of the blue, with zero explanation – of Jane, his wife, and Boy, his son, the stories gradually morph into coded domestic dramas in which the chcarcter of Tarzan occasionally veers perilously close to that of an odious colonialist overlord. But, while this can (and does) mitigate the enjoyment of Marsh's amazing art, it in no way disqualifies the value of rappreciating this work.