Posts from 18th July 2008

Jul 08

Comics: A Beginner’s Guide: Underground Comix

The Brown Wedge6 comments • 2,178 views

American comics were almost entirely childish and pretty insipid after the Senate hearings in the mid-’50s. Unsurprisingly there was a reaction to this, and some cartoonists started putting out alternatives, full of drugs and sex and anti-establishment politics. It got very tied in to the burgeoning hippy movement.

Robert Crumb

One all-time comics great came out of this movement. Crumb is a pretty twisted person with various misogynist attitudes – the saving grace is that the comics don’t read as if it’s someone telling you how women are, but as confessions of the creator’s wrongheadedness. This was new. He’s produced tons of great comics himself, and he married another extremely talented cartoonist, Aline Kominsky. He got his start working for Harvey Kurtzman on Help! (his successor to Mad), where Fritz the Cat debuted, and then started putting out his own comics. His drawing is superb, harking back to illustration styles before comics, as well as earlier comics like Popeye, and his writing is scabrous and impossible to ignore. As well as being a great creator, he was also the inspiration for the movement, and an influence on pretty much all of it. Crumb’s work has been extensively collected, and most libraries will have something.


Popular ’77

FT + Popular/663 comments • 17,508 views

I give a mark out of 10 to every single featured on Popular. This is your chance to indicate which YOU would have given 6 or more to, by whatever standard you wish to impose. And if you have any ‘closing remarks’ on the year to make, the comments box is your place!

Number One Hits Of 1977: Which would you have given 6 or more to?

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Poll closes: No Expiry

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Billy Cor Knows The Score: The Watchmen Trailer

Do You See + FT + The Brown Wedge/6 comments • 535 views

I’ve often been told that what makes Watchmen “unfilmable” is its complexity: this is surely not true. Generally this argument confuses complexity for detail, which nowadays is bread and butter to a sufficiently obsessive director and an audience with frame-by-frame access. And looking at the trailer that’s what the Watchmen film’s got. Yes, the story as a comic contains a lot of flashbacks, but it’s not as if this is a technique unknown to cinema audiences! If you lose the Black Freighter sequence you’ve got a relatively straightforward story, albeit one with a somewhat eyebrow-raising tonal shift at the end.


Cheap Shots: How To Stay A Head In Film Reviewing

Do You See + FT4 comments • 227 views

Here’s how, from the Guardian website. You review Not Real Films…

WINGS – “Mull Of Kintyre”/”Girls School”

FT + Popular102 comments • 7,329 views

#416, 4th December 1977

This has the slightly dubious distinction of being the first record I ever disliked. I barely knew about records at all, I was four and three quarters: so my cynicism started early, if you like. This one was inescapable – number one for nine weeks, two million sold, flattening the opposition through Christmas ’77 and then on into ’78. I didn’t know what number ones were but I guess I just got bored of “Mull” being around, its comforting lullaby sway pushing into even our pop-free household*. I remember not being able to figure out what a Mull was, or a Kintyre: I’d been reading the Hobbit, and the Narnia books, so I reckoned it was an honorific, like King, or Tarkaan. And this dark haired guy singing it, he’d be the Mull, then?