måndag 4 april 2011

Back from the comics store

Brian Walker's history of US comic strips is brilliant, weaving together the stories of the creators, the industry, and the economic and political developments of the society in which they develop. The treatment of the industry's pre-WWII history is especially good, so this one I wholeheartedly recommend.

Of course a serious comics scholar – or comics fan – needs the complete Prince Valiant in his library, as well as Bloom County and Secret Agent Corrigan. (It's hard to find a better drawn daily comic strip than Williams' marvelous ink masterpieces.)

Essential Captain America Vol. 6 gives you a whiff of that very special 1970s Marvel aesthetic that is epitomized by Sal Buscema's pencils inked by Mike Esposito. I know the term "artwork" is used for this, too, but that can only be just barely. At least a number of the scripts are by Roger Stern, one of the not-many reliably-good scripters of the late seventies-early eighties. Then there's EC-light from the late sixties in Showcase Presents The Witching Hour Vol. 1; short stories with a twist illustrated by artists like Alex Toth, Mike Kaluta, Neal Adams, Gray Morrow etc. – and a bunch of far lesser luminaries, of course.

Rounding out with a collection of Jeffrey Brown shorts, and a couple of manga for grown-ups, or gekiga.

… Now back to obsessing about not having enough time to read all my comics.

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