Saturday, October 16, 2021

Brendan McGinley:

Quisque Comoedum Est

Writer Mark Voger, shows a heedless love for “Grim, Great, & Gimmicky Post-Modern Comics” in The Dark Age. Famous Movie Monsters: The Art of Basil Gogos, collects the memorable pieces from this monster master’s career.

 

The Dark Age

Probably not the definitive or objective analysis of comics’ most profitable period since the mid-20 th century, but certainly a nuanced one, and probably the first to give the period a fair going-over. The last 15 years of the 20 th century are a much-maligned period in comics, cited for “realism” that, if it ever existed, decayed into parody.

Writer Mark Voger, showing a heedless love for the material, leaps in and acknowledges the validity of those criticisms while giving a second look at a period that, for all its aesthetic flaws, was a commercial and cultural success among the laity. The end portrait is a freshly tilled creative landscape primed for the seeds of comics’ next creative burst forward.

At times needlessly coy, and even momentarily trite, the book still covers all the major and minor points a thorough look at the era would need while adding enough new perspectives and a few revelations to open a discussion about the real, and often-overlooked merits, of an era remembered for polybags and chromium covers.

 

 

 

Famous Movie Monsters: The Art of Basil Gogos

A retrospective of artist Basil Gogos’ career as the definitive monster master, but with plenty of men’s adventure and pretty dames, capped with some recent CD covers for metal and punk bands.

It’s well-structured, with a wide retrospective of his life and art, followed by breakdowns of the different periods in his work. There are interviews with the man and his peers, as well as the fans and families of his subjects.

But best of all, there are pages and pages of luscious art, and the work speaks for itself. Fans will get what they really want to see, which is a visual tour of Gogos’ history as an illustrator and a fine artist.

 

 

 

 

Brendan McGinley is a long-time writer for ComicBase. His comic favorites include anything featuring Grim Jack, Punisher, Guy Gardner, Green Lantern, or written buy Evan Dorkin, Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, Deadpool… and the list goes on. But he insists he is of discriminating tastes.

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