Announcements: New Cole Article at The Comics Journal, Upcoming Books

As of today, July 1, 2013, I have a new column at the online magazine, The Comics Journal. Co-editors Dan Nadel and Tim Hodler very kindly responded to my query ("Hey guys, want some writing?") and then patiently waited four months for me to produce something.

I'm kicking off the new column with a four-part series called "The Lost Comics of Jack Cole." The first part (1931-8) can be read here.

This long piece includes 36 cartoons, comics, photos, and rare images -- 16 of which never made it onto this blog.

But, more than that, I've discovered that putting all these little bits and pieces of the "lost" Jack Cole together into a chronological framework sheds light on the life and career of this secretive, influential 20th century master of pop culture. I hope you'll check it out and leave a comment there to encourage the editors to run more stuff like this.

One the reasons Dan and Tim had to wait four months for this piece was that, around the time they hired me, I landed a wonderful opportunity to write an essay for the upcoming 500 foot long by 300 foot wide Sunday Press book, Society Is Nix: Gleeful Anarchy At The Dawn of the Newspaper Comic Strip (1896-1915). My essay in the book is called "Mule Kicks: The Roots of Screwball Comics." I also was a contributing editor, helping out publisher and editor Peter Maresca on researching and writing about 50 mini-biographies of cartoonists represented in this amazing book. It's due out around August 1 and might even make an early appearance at the San Diego Con -- look for it -- it's gonna be a REVELATION. Here's the cover:

Coming around August 1, 2013 from Sunday Press

Just when I finished up the Sunday Press project, Abrams ComicArts editor Charlie Kochman kicked his work on The Art of Rube Goldberg into overdrive. I actually worked day and night for a short while on this with him (I am co-editor of the volume). This book, a huge coffee table art book on the Great Cartoonist will have a slew of original essays from greats like Al Jaffe, Brian Walker, Peter Maresca (my publisher/editor at Sunday Press), Carl Linich, and best of all - from Rube's talented, funny grand-daughter, Jennifer George (who put the whole book together). I've got an essay in the book, as well. You can check it out on Amazon here, and here's the cover art:



And now, since you've been kind enuff to read through all this shameless self-promotion, here's an actual piece of rare Cole art. Even though this ran in a 1944 Chesler publication called Punch Comics, it was clearly done much earlier -- probably in 1938 or 1939 when he was working as a staff artist at the Chesler Shop. It may have been published in some as yet unidentified comic (if so, probably a Centaur publication), or it may have been something Cole did which was kept in inventory. In any case, it's pretty swell -- a whole, artfully designed page of gag cartoons around the theme of travel trailers!

Punch Comics #9 (Harry "A" Chesler, July 1944)

More soon!

Thanks for Reading,
Paul "O'Brian" Tumey



2 comments:

  1. Congratulatios on getting greater exposure for your Cole expertise.

    I saw another fellow ask you if you minded being referenced, but I didn't see a response. I already went ahead and cited your reprint of a PM story in my blog-essay; see what you think.

    http://arche-arc.blogspot.com/2013/08/opposing-ghosts.html

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    Replies
    1. Hi Gene,

      Just seeing this. Thanks for your comment. I certainly don't mind being referenced. I think the previous comment (to which I thought I replied) was about dating my posts, so that people could specifically cite the articles in a bibliography.

      I read your piece, and I think you raise an interesting point. I felt Harvey Pekar viewed Plastic Man and superhero comics in general from a broad cultural-historical perspective. I think his introduction to that particular volume of the PLASTIC MAN ARCHIVES is actually quite insightful and valuable. I also think that Cole was practicing -- in Plastic Man and other works -- his own souped-up version of screwball humor. Not satire. Screwball has a whiff of satire, but it encompasses many other elements, including: extreme reactions, nonsense, ironic twistings of reality )something Plas literally embodied), and a density of background gags (which is where the primary intersection is with Kurtzman and Elder's MAD stories). In any case, Pekar was an astute critic, and his introduction is useful for a different perspective -- not a comios fan so much as the perspective of a guy who wrote much more about jazz music and early American literature than he ever did about comics.

      Thanks again for the comment.

      Delete

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