Monday, May 28, 2018

I’m Not an Artist, But… Speaking of Space!

Here's a nice little counterpoint to our last post, which inaugurated the "I’m Not an Artist, But…" sub-series!

In THAT POST, I noted the poorly designed cover for Disney Comics' WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES # 574 (1992), and all the needlessly empty blank space, both above, and to the left of, the figure of Donald Duck!  (Below)

In contrast, look at this nice job by an old pro, the tragically underrated Phil De Lara, for the cover of THE PINK PANTHER # 13 (Gold Key Comics, 1973)!  

Specifically, for the use of an ANTENNA on the back of the Panther's car, and how it extends into, and eliminates any possibility of, (...all together now) "empty blank space" to the left of the Panther's head - no matter how slight that  "empty blank space" might have been! 

It's all the more a case of "going that little extra step", and you might not even notice it unless you "linger on the cover and think about it more deeply than is warranted", because the ANTENNA is IN NO WAY NEEDED TO CARRY THE GAG! 

It's just there for the sake of the best possible composition!  It even abuts the logo in such a way that one might imagine the antenna giving the "fancy P" of "Panther" a little nudge!  
Well done and bravo, Phil De Lara!  

Completely shifting gears, in addition to categorizing this post in the new "I’m Not an Artist, But…" sub-series, we could also put it in the "Adventures in Comic-Boxing" sub-series, as this observation was formulated while digging through my comics long boxes!  

 And, it even quasi-qualifies for our other sub-series, "Separated at Mirth" with Mutt and Jeff, in that the height disparity between The Pink Panther and The Inspector is played-up similarly to that between Mutt and Jeff - with SOMETHING BEING OPENED ON TOP to accommodate the taller toff of each two!   

The Pink Panther with a CAR...
...And Mutt and Jeff with an UMBRELLA!  

As you can see, Mutt and Jeff did this umbrella gag more than once... MUCH MORE, in fact!  But, that will be the subject of a future "Separated at Mirth"!  

For now, we'll just celebrate Gold Key's THE PINK PANTHER # 13 (1973) for hitting the TIAH-Trifecta of "Adventures in Comic-Boxing", "Separated at Mirth", and "I’m Not an Artist, But…" !   
How many comics can make a claim like THAT! 

Friday, May 18, 2018

I’m Not an Artist, But… Lost in (ALL THAT EMPTY) Space!

The success of my two recent regular features "Adventures in Comic-Boxing" and "Separated at Mirth", has prompted me to add a THIRD such feature, which I call "I’m Not an Artist, But…". 

While "Adventures in Comic-Boxing" deals with my journeys through my comics long-boxes and the delightful oddities found within - such as THIS...

...And "Separated at Mirth" is a celebration of the many similar gags and other concepts found on comic book covers and their interiors, as presented by different artists and characters - as seen HERE...

"I’m Not an Artist, But…" calls deserved attention to things that... shall we say... could have been executed better!  Or, perhaps never attempted at all.  

But, being a WRITER, I've always been reluctant to criticize the work of artists... if only because I feel they have a far more difficult job than does the writer - and he or she is FAR MORE OUT FRONT in the comic book medium than is the writer!  

Oh, it's not as if I haven't taken certain things to task, such as this absolutely dreadful four-panel sequence by artist Kay Wright from the Now-Infamous-Because-I've-Made-It-So "Bird Bothered Hero" from DONALD DUCK # 127 (1969)...

...But now such items of infamy will have their own subset feature at TIAH Blog!  As is our way around here, we will not be needlessly critical, but will "give credit - or whatever serves as its polar opposite" - as circumstances dictate.   

Let's begin, shall we... 

WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES # 574 (1992), published during (what our friend Elaine has contributed to our lexicon as) "The Disney Interregnum" between the superior issues published during what we denote as "Gladstone Series One", and the lesser issues of "Gladstone Series Two"!

Even if the figure of Donald Duck was intentionally drawn maybe a tad "small" - to indicate the vastness of the mountaintops - why is he so noticeably to the right of center?  No political jokes, please!  ...And there's far too much empty space between the figure and the title-logo as well! 

My only guess is that, while the cover is already overburdened with clutter of a non-illustrative, non-title-logo nature, there may have been still more annoying promotional hype-copy intended for the center-left (...again, no political jokes) of the cover image!  

Whatever the reason, I’m Not an Artist, But… this cover simply could have been executed better!   

As an INAUGURAL BONUS for the "I’m Not an Artist, But…" feature, here's out First Runner-Up in the category of "Poor Space Management" - IDW's UNCLE SCROOGE # 8 (2015).

Just one of the many things IDW has done right with these comics is that, aside from a roll call of us creators, there is never any CLUTTER on their Disney comic covers!  

So, why not just ENLARGE the central image of Scrooge and the Jack-in-the-Box Treasure Chest, and REDUCE that needless empty space of SAND at the cover's bottom?  I’m Not an Artist, But… such a modification seems logical - and more aesthetically pleasing to boot! 

And it's not as if the great Carl Barks didn't already "show 'em how", back in 1953! 

Not a drop of wasted space ANYWHERE!  Way to go, Unca Carl! 

Indeed, as "I’m Not an Artist, But…" progresses, I'm certain we'll see little or nothing from the likes of Carl Barks, Harvey Eisenberg, Neal Adams, or Curt Swan.  The rest of you are FAIR GAME... especially YOU, Charlton!  

WOW! Speaking of CLUTTER! 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

More Melon 2!

Here, courtesy of our friend Achille Talon, is another hilarious installment of the Franco-Belgian comic "Walter Melon" (...known as "Achille Talon" in French, hence his screen-name) by the great cartoonist Michael Greg...

...And with, as we say at IDW, "Translation and Dialogue by Achille Talon", the REAL one, not the "cartoon-one"!   CLICK TO ENLARGE any panel sequence! 

Who among us would not at least CONSIDER ACTING, if not outright doing so, as poor fried Walter has!  

Aside from Walter in his "crispy state", you've just gotta love how the mysterious button is now completely obliterated!  

Notice the title of this post is "More Melon 2".  That's because we've already enjoyed "More Melon" in THIS POST, and were introduced to the character and his world in THIS POST!  
I'm counting on Achille to make this Blogger's life easy by occasionally delivering more material for more "More Melon" posts - just as Walter is so-doing above.  We'll all enjoy 'em, and all I've got to do is sit back and supply some framing text!  

Thank you, "Achille Talon" for another installment... and thank you, Michael Greg for your wonderful creation!  

...Any resemblance between Michael Greg and comics legend Stan Lee is purely coincidental... or is it?  

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Uncle Scrooge and “The Wonderful Wishing Post”!

…Or, am *I* just “wishing I could do a wonderful post” about IDW’s landmark UNCLE SCROOGE # 34, the 70th Anniversary issue? 

This issue was late… VERY LATE, for reasons I know not why!

My Blog Post on this issue is late – but will NOT be VERY LATE, for reasons I DO know why!

Lots of unexpected things have been thrown in my direction… most of them good, I must quickly add!  But, this finds me in the position, once again, of being (…all together now) “Horrifically Busy”!  

But, unlike some o’ those other Blogs that just leave you hanging, I’m here to let you know that the post IS coming – and that, unlike UNCLE SCROOGE # 34 itself, it won’t be 4 or 5 months late!  

Meanwhile, I’m here for comments, if not for the more effort-intensive task of writing about and scanning images from the issue!  And, if the delay persists, I will let loose with one or more of the many posts I have “saved-up” for such occasions, all in the interest of keeping this Blog fresh – and hopefully giving you a reason to return regularly!