Friday, December 31, 2010

People Who Died

Harvey Pekar

Harvey Pekar was one of the first to see comics explicitly as art. His worldview was primarily literary, and he saw his comics as a kind of literature. I fell in love with his work in the early 1980s, and have treasured it since.

Sigmar Polke

Polke had been doing groundbreaking work in Germany for well over a decade when he had his first American show in 1982. It was, by all accounts, an eyeopener. Polke imitators sprang up. It's hard to blame them--he was such a font of creativity, any number of artists could make careers feeding off his table scraps. He's an artist I've always dug.

Al Williamson art (top) and Frank Frazetta (bottom)

Al Williamson and Frank Frazetta are two of the few remaining artists associated with the seminal E.C. Comics line of the 1950s. Both were extraordinarily skilled artists. Frazetta had a unique style that made him a favorite of metalheads for generations. I always thought Williamson was the more boring of the two. With a few exceptions--some of the work they did for E.C. Comics, Frazetta's work on L'il Abner, and some other adds and ends, these two artists dedicated their lives to illustrating fantasy kitsch. That was the thing about comics artist of their generation--they came along too early to see the field cracked open by the underground cartoonists of the 60s.

Louise Bourgeois

Louis Bourgeois was the coolest old lady of her time. I want to be that productive and creative when I'm in my 80s and 90s. I'll leave the tributizing to Hennesy Youngman.

Captain Beefheart

Captain Beefheart... I love you, you big dummy.

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