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Monday, February 08, 2010

Looking Forward to Looking Back, Vol. 15

Holy Katz N Jammerkids! It's been a couple weeks now since I've had a chance to do a new post! In my posting absence though, I decided I would work these posts in a direction other than merely relaying information on what classic comic material is available, but I wish to also discuss why the availability of this classic comic material is important as many of you visiting our site may have no experience with the material I cover. And that's okay. Many readers may have no interest in these old comics and strips at all, which is also fine. But... if you're really interested in comics and in where comics as an art form are going then you really should take time to read and learn a bit about where the comics have been and how the medium of comics has progressed and become this thing we know it to be today.


The actress, Lauren Bacall, once said of old movies that "only when you've seen a movie does it make a film an old movie. If you've never seen or tried a classic film, then it's still a "new" movie. I not only agree with her, but I think the notion can be applied quite easily to "old comics" too. In every volume I've allowed myself to discover of books such as Little Nemo or Krazy Kat or Bringing Up Father, I have found an experience that was not only enjoyable but the material was fresh and new! After all, I didn't grow up in the early 1900s, the Teens, or the Twenties, but the comic strips from those days are vastly appealing as the gags and the comedy is still intact, the artwork is just as spirited and often mesmerising, and I often learn something of not only this art form's past but the past of us as a collective people and nation. Just the same, I didn't grow up reading the adventure comics or strips of the Thirties, Forties, or Fifties, but I admire the art, the storytelling, and the heroism those stories had to offer readers. These works are now considered timeless because their best qualities remain intact for readers today. I find the material in these books is gratifying for the cost, I appreciate the restoration efforts that go into them, and I also like to think in some way I am helping to preserve the early days of an art form that has survived long enough to now have a history. A history that deserves to be explored. Fortunately, for us modern readers that exploration is possible with all of the various reprint efforts by publishers today.


So in the weeks ahead, I'm going to endeavour to cover a lot of comic ground and spotlight artists and strips and comics that deserve your attetnion, or if you're already familiar with them, maybe then a second look. There have been substantial efforts in the last twenty plus years to bring comic readers a selection of the best that the early days of this medium had to offer, but for these efforts to continually thrive these works need exposure to new readers and not just us who already appreciate the look back.

Stay Tuned! Comix Connection Counter Monkey Joe's updates on new collections and look back at comics appreciation begins next Monday!

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1 Comments:

At 2/08/2010 5:29 PM, Blogger Coolguy 2004 said...

Beautiful post Joe. I, personally love the history of comics and revel in the old "new" artwork! I can't wait to "recount" for the first time and regain some appreciation for things I've seen but don't always think to gaze upon.

Windsor McCay is prolly the artist that most often makes me think, "oh yeah, theres a ton of comic pages I need to go discover!".

Jack Kirby and Joe Kubert were the first two classic artists I was exposed to and now I have a nostalgia for artists that bore artwork 50 or more years before i was even born. Can't wait to discover today what I'll be nostalgic about tomorrow with you and the other fans of this site. Thanks!

 

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