ARCHIVE PAGE 45 - March 2008
Previous posts that appeared on the front page of comic book brain.com
Alex Toth Black Canary
Terry Dodson Wonder Woman #5
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Mystery of the USS Constellation
The U.S.S. Constellation is the source of a remarkable, and long, controversy in wooden ship circles and in U.S. Naval history in general. Originally authorized to be built by the United States Congress of 1794, the completed "frigate" class wooden ship was underway and being used in 1797. Retired in 1845 and "broken-down" in 1853, a second USS Constellation was built and floated as a "war sloop." That's where the uncertainty in history begins.
The Question of the USS Constellation
Was the second USS Constellation an entirely separate ship built with some timbers and parts from the first ship with the name, or is the second ship really just the first ship radically rebuilt and designed?
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Making sense of "Commercial Art"
[Below] From "Design Studies: Theory and Research in Graphic Design, A Reader." Audrey Bennett, Editor, Published by Princeton Architectural Press:
FROM COMMERCIAL ARTISTS TO CULTURAL INTERMEDIARIES
We are now in a position to consider advertisements, logos, brochures, commercials, compact disc covers, and so forth as the contrived and somewhat reflective communications of an obscure elite, whose members continually attempt to bridge the paradox between their artistic impulses and the economic constraints to which they are tied. The geographer David harvey characterized creatives by the slightly sinister trait of feeding on "serious cultural products" and then producing (excreting) "popular materials for the wider mass-culture audience." Featherstone, although acknowledging that they may indeed be cultural plunderers, detected a certain predicament in propagating their "elite provincialism":
Their habitus, dispositions and lifestyle preferences are such that they identify with artists and intellectuals, yet under conditions of the demonopolization of artistic and intellectual commodity enclaves they have the apparent contradictory interests of sustaining the prestige and cultural capital of these enclaves, while at the same time popularizing and making them more accessible to wider audiences. (36)
We may thus contrast a conception of ad creatives (and designers, etc.) as "culture vultures" with the notion of "cultured vultures." Both formulations compare favorably with Jackson Lears's description of the people who have been associated with advertising: These artists and writers have served, in a sense, as emissaries between social universes: the agency-client world and the wider population; art and big business; museum and commercial culture. They have worked various boundaries, sometimes creatively reconnecting aesthetics and everyday life, more often conforming out of necessity to the constraints of agency organization)
From the section "Children of Marx and Coca-Cola," from the chapter Encoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising Production, By Matthew Soar, page 214.
See the section above which I highlighted: I think its wrong. It assumes there is a divide between "museums and commercial culture." I do not think so. An actual recognizable division is entirely in terms of quality, the only way to establish "competing worlds" that can have any permanent and real meaning. The categories in which Mr. Soar is comparing this-to-that do not actually exist but as superficial economic divisions (couched in political terms).
His description is excellent, but he is essentially describing the tools and attitudes of the people involved and their expression of their culture. He does not truly describe their "worlds" as actual artistic spheres.
Terry Dodson Wonder Woman Cover issue 9
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More Wonder Woman
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Dave Sim "Secret Project" on the Holocaust
A page from Dave Sim's Holocaust project
This was over at the Neil Gaiman blog:
>Another page from Dave Sim's Holocaust project.
[Question] "Do you think that something as important as the Holocaust can be depicted through a comic book? If it can be, then do you think its all a matter of people's misconception of comics as an inadequate source of serious story-telling?"
[Gaiman's response] "Given that Art Spiegelman's Maus won the 1992 Pulitzer prize, and is a, oddly enough, comic book about the Holocaust, I think that argument was settled 16 years ago. (Dave Sim's upcoming Secret Project is Holocaust-related, and is one of the most emotionally affecting things I've read in comic-book form.) I think any argument that states that comics (or radio or film or a musical or the novel or insert your favourite medium here...) by its nature trivialises its subject matter is foolish, shortsighted, dim, lazy and wrong. You can say "This is a bad comic." You can't say "This is bad because it's a comic."
Paul Pope - THB 6d
Paul Pope page from THB 6d, 2002. See page enlarged.
Richard Corben - Comix International 4
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Original Page 2008 | Updated May 2016
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