April 06, 2011 | 10:14 a.m.
Brian Walker’s two books on American newspaper comics, “The Comics Before 1945” and “The Comics Since 1945,” have been combined in a new and lavish omnibus edition, “The Comics: The Complete Collection” from Abrams Books. Walker surveys more than a century of strips and the book is jampacked with more than 1,300 images, including rare examples provided by the artists themselves. All of it is organized by decade and interspersed with creator profiles and trenchant analysis of the different genres and trends. More than a pop-culture scholar, Walker is a creator himself — since 1984 he has been part of the creative team that produces the “Beetle Bailey” and “Hi and Lois” strips. I caught up with the Connecticut author to talk about the glorious past and uncertain future of the great American comic strips. GB: As far as craft and just pure talent, […]
June 18, 2010 | 2:28 a.m.
The late, great Wally Wood was born on this date in 1927. Wood took his own life in 1981 at age 54 after years of health problems, addiction and heartache — he had also lost sight in one eye after a stroke in his final years, a bitter blow for a man defined by his vision of the world. William Gaines, the publisher of EC Comics, had a bittersweet appraisal of Wood’s grim and gifted run of life: “Wally may have been our most troubled artist…. I’m not suggesting any connection, but he may have been our most brilliant.” To me, the art of Jack Kirby looked like it was moving with cosmic energy pulses, angular physics and body-shortening kinetics, but the comic book covers of Wood were different — they seemed oddly serene to my young eyes when I first saw them. Wood’s work seemed like […]