edited by Monte Beauchamp
comics by Drew Friedman, Dan Zettwoch, Mark Alan Stamaty, et al
It's hard to gauge what's in store when you first espy a copy of Masterful Marks, so we're going to let you know that, while in the world of comics you often can judge a book by it's cover, this is one of those books that fits the old adage, as between its staid and stolid coversis a riot of colorful comics homages to the giants of comics, by a great assemblage of currently working cartoonists. Among the pieces you will find here are Mark Alan Stamaty on Jack Kirby, Beauchamp and Ryan Heshka on Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster, Dan Zettwoch on Tezuka Osamu, Denis Kitchen on Dr. Seuss (and yes, for those of you who don't know, he started out doing comics), Peter Kuper on Harvey Kurtzman, and Drew Friedman turns in what may be the best comics work of his career with "R. Crumb & Me." And there's plenty more. While we would take issue with Beauchamp's decision to include comics-packagers/promoters like Walt Disney and Hugh Hefner in the collection, presumably for commercial reasons, given their greater name recognition with the general public, we're not going to let it detract from our enjoyment of the bulk of the book. So, make sure to pry open this one when you see it, and take a look.
Blab is back, and in a new format that represents a hybrid of its previous incarnations. Part comics, part art showcase, part archival, this new Blab has something for everyone (but only some will find everything to be of interest). The highlights for us here at Copacetic are two – count 'em – new full color comics by Noah Van Sciver, both of which are portraits of the artist in comics form. The first tells the tale of Louis Wain, an early – and, surprise!, eccentric – 20th century British artist who is largely forgotten – and certainly was not ever widely know in the American comics world – but best remembered as the creator of a series of prints and postcards featuring anthropomorphic cats; the second provides an up close, personal, and pretty seedy comics accounting of the better known (but, certainly, not by everyone) tale of crime comics artist exemplar, Bob Woods, co-creator of the original crime comic book that started it all, Crime Does Not Pay – and his downward spiral along with its highly ironic, crime fueled conclusion. Monte Beauchamp's in-depth and profusely illustrated essay on the history of the great apes in popular culture – and, to a lesser extent, in history and science – has a lot to offer, and will certainly be of intense interest to some, perhaps many, readers. In addition Ryan Heshka's comics bio of Siegel and Shuster from Masterful Marks is given another chance to connct with readers, along with a Fletcher Hanks classic Fantomah story. Plus plenty more! BLAB!