Monday, January 15, 2007

Thankfully, there is no chimp sidekick.*

I read two collections of comics this weekend that don't really have much in common except that they were both intended for a much younger audience. They were Courtney Crumrin in the Twilight Kingdom and Tarzan: The Joe Kubert Years Vol. 2.

I love the Courtney Crumrin books by Ted Naifeh and highly recommend them to anyone with a kid who doesn't have the patience to finish a Harry Potter book but could probably make it through a comic. The artwork is simply fantastic with strong characters that are equally charming and slightly off. The art captures the nature of magic - it looks beautiful and attrictive but equally dangerous and terrifying. For every beautiful exterior presented there is more danger lurking underneath. A wonderful guilty pleasure of mine.

Then there are these Tarzan Dark Horse collections. These collections (this is the second one I've read) along with the recent Sgt. Rock miniseries are making me into a big Joe Kubert fan. I simply love the dynamic and stylized approach to the art and layout. It's all about a super-man being the best at absolutely everything and having women fawn over him. Then he'll punch an animal.

I dont want to start listing the animals he punches, puts into a full-nelson or snaps the neck of because those PETA people might get on my case and they're just no fun. Tarzan choking a black lion into submission so it will do his bidding - that's fun! This collection is totally about watching human flesh grapple and if you were more serious than me about being an artist these collections are a great example of how to approach human anatomy in motion. And I think there is an average of 2 K.O.s per issue. That's pretty good for a comics code authority approved book, I think?

* Because at some point Tarzan would knock it the fuck out.

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