Posts from 28th August 2008

Aug 08

There Ain’t No Cure For My Somers Town Blues

FT15 comments • 388 views

A Daily Mail reading of Somers Town:
-London is full of yobs and foreigners: The only characters in Somers Town from London are the three (white) kids who mug Tommo, the café owner and Graham the spiv. And you can see this clearly in the way that Graham is holed up in his survivalist bunker of a flat. Everyone else is either from the regions or foreign.
-The foreigners are getting crafty. In the old days it was easy to spot an immigrant, they were a different colour. These days the Frenchies and the Poles which fill up Somers Town LOOK LIKE US. At least no Black or Asian people live in Somers Town.
-Isn’t social housing nice? Well not nice, but surprisingly quiet for Central London, when apparently only two flats are occupied. Though one by an immigrant.


Comics: A Beginner’s Guide: Adventure Comics

The Brown Wedge5 comments • 1,083 views

Who is the greatest comic artist ever? Obviously that is unanswerable, but my top choice would be Alex Toth. This is partly because he was magnificent in every style he used, and he did it all – superheroes, romance, horror, funny animals, war, SF, westerns, pirates and anything else you can think of. I think his heart was most in swashbuckling adventure, harking back to Flynn and Fairbanks. He did great work on various such comics, and his fine Zorro work is collected in a couple of volumes, but I guess the work to point anyone to is Bravo For Adventure, starring dashing aviator Jesse Bravo. This is collected in one mag, which you might be able to buy if you’re lucky. The first story is particularly astonishing – for 16 of the 17 pages Jesse is unconscious, and in pages with three tiers of two panels each, Toth shows off his mastery and brilliance with a series of breathtaking black and white compositions and the best grasp ever of where to put in detail and where to go minimal. It also features a small tribute to Hugo Pratt (see below). Absolutely anything by Toth is worth grabbing when you see it – even on the most throwaway pieces of work, his peerless craft and compositional ability is unmistakeable. I’ve never really been interested in buying original comic art, but if there is one page I would choose, it would be this from a car story in DC’s Hot Wheels. There are a couple of lovely art-book format collections of some of his work, if you can find them, but it’s not always his best.