From Publishers Weekly
Having curated actual museum shows, cartoonist/designer Yoe turns to the print medium to exhibit little known cartoon art. Appropriately, the book opens with cartoons about fine art museums by Charles Addams, Chester Gould, Cliff Sterrett and others. Some of these works, like Frank King's, demonstrate links between cartooning and "high" art. Others, including an essay by Rube Goldberg, voice a populist disdain for modern art and art critics. In the wake of the King Kong remake, Yoe presents works pairing apes and women, running a gamut from horror to simple titillation, such as photos of Bettie Page with guys in literal monkey suits. A segment on tattooing includes an EC-style horror tale written, surprisingly, by Stan Lee. In the book's most extraordinary works, 19th-century cartoonist Charles Bennett transforms animals into humans through a succession of images that Yoe insightfully compares to CGI "morphing" effects. Other highlights are remarkable, previously unpublished color paintings by Richard Outcault of the Yellow Kid, American comics' first iconic character. The book concludes with an examination of Picasso's interest in the comics. Lavishly illustrated, this survey of the long history of pop art entertains with a succession of bold, unexpected images. (July)
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Yoe continues the exploration of "the unholy marriage of art and comics" that began in Modern Arf
(2005). Among the cartoon artifacts he showcases here are 10 hitherto--unpublished early 1900s paintings of the Yellow Kid by newspaper-strip-pioneer Richard Felton Outcault, a selection of hell-themed pieces by socialist cartoonist Art Young, vintage girlie cartoons by forgotten magazine cartoonist Reamer Heller, ape-themed cartoons featuring King Kong and other simians, and wacky drawings of modernist sculpture as well as a snide assessment of modern art by Rube Goldberg. In the 22 pages preceding the title page, museumgoers Nancy and Sluggo, Gasoline Alley
's Skeezix, Barney Google, and other comic-strip characters grapple with high culture. A selection of sequential drawings--comic strips, essentially--by Picasso leads into examples of cartoonists including Art Spiegelman lampooning cubism. The touring museum exhibition Masters of American Comics
has recently drawn large crowds to see original art by Charles^B Schulz, R. Crumb, and other cartoonists, so consider Yoe's juxtapositioning of high and low another manifestation of the cultural zeitgeist. Gordon FlaggCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved