<<•>> 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.
edited by Russ Kick
This 500 page large format anthology is the first in a series that presents "the world's great literature as comics and visuals", "from the Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons" in black & white and full color comics and illustration. The contributor list read's like a who's who from the past, present and future of comics, including the likes of Will Eisner, Robert Crumb, Rick Geary, Sharon Rudahl, Seymour Chwast, Hunt Emerson, Peter Kuper, Andrice Arp, Edie Fake, Matt Wiegle, Aidan Koch – whose adaptation of Shakespeare's Sonnet 20 is a revelation – and Rebecca Dart – whose twelve full page illustrations of Milton's Paradise Lost channels Charles Burchfield through Chuck Jones to create an epic synthesis that will knock your socks off. Some of the works in this collection have been seen before: notably, the Crumb, Chwast, Eisner and Emerson contributions are reprinted and/or excerpted from previously published works. Most – by a large majority – are new to this volume, however, and make it well worth a look. And this is only the first of three volumes! Some parents reading this might be prompted to think, "Hey, this would make a swell way to get the kids interested in the classics of literature!" Thus we must duly note that there are some graphic depictions of sexuality contained within the pages of this volume. And while they are very modest in number, making up only a tiny minority of the pages (certainly less than 5%), they are there. The primary culprit here is Aristophanes's Lysistrata, which just about everyone read(s) in high school, and so should have some idea what to expect; it is adapted by a woman artist and is not prurient in its presentation, but is graphic. Only Noah Pfarr's adaptation of Donne's "The Flea" makes any attempt to heat things up. Even Crumb's take on Boswell's London Journal in quite tame by his standards, so there's little if anything to get incensed about here. It's more or less an issue of where to draw the line agewise. We'd recommend holding off on this to any readers under 13; it's probably too much for them in any case, regardless of sexual content.
Published by one of the leading lights of the Left, Verso Books, this anthology is jam-packed full of engaging, entertaining, enjoyable and, especially, educational comics about a wide swath of historical figures – ranging from Walt Whitman to Charlie Parker and including Gertrude Stein, Mabel Dodge, Billie Holiday, Josephine Baker and far too many others to mention here – that have been collected together under the umbrella of "Bohemians." There are some great comics on hand here, by the likes of Sharon Rudahl, Dan Steffan, Sabrina Jones, Matt Howarth, Lance Tooks, David Lasky, Milton Knight, Ellen Lindner, Peter Kuper, Afua Richardson, and the late, great Spain Rodriguez, whose participation here indicates that this has been a long fermenting project. All in all it makes for a great read, and it's a good deal! Laugh and learn, for less. Recommended.