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The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics Hardcover – June 1, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
|Length: 2:54 Mins|
His story, by Kitchen and Buhle, is helped because they represent the Kurtzman estate and clearly had access to a lot of original artwork which I doubt has been seen before. You'll see art from Two-fisted Tales, Frontline Combat, Mad, Trump, Humbug, Help! and Little Annie Fanny all with decent captions, too.
The book's production is really first-class and a nice touch is the addition of four pages printed on tracing paper that overlay a page of Little Annie Fanny, the long captions explain just how much work went into each page of the Playboy feature.
Since his death in 1993 Kurtzman's stature has grown and rightly so but I thought it unfortunate that he never quite achieved the perfection he was always striving for with his publications. I bet he would have appreciated the love and care that has gone into this book tribute.
***SEE SOME INSIDE PAGES by clicking 'customer images' under the cover.
Paul Buhle and Dennis Kitchen have done a masterful job in finally telling the story of this unsung creative genius, in words and images. This book is a MUST for anyone who is serious about becoming a cartoonist or collecting cartoons.
Chapter 1 is entitled "Hey Look! It's the '40s" and is an outline of his earliest work in cartooning. Included are six of the 150 "Hey Look!" one-page comics he did for Stan Lee's Marvel.
Chapter 2 reviews his work with Bill Gaines' E.C. Comics, mostly doing war comics. There is a 7 page section where his story "Corpse on the Imjin" (from Two-Fisted Tales #25, January 1952) is reproduced in black & white drawings.
Chapter 3 is the heart of the book and devoted to his pioneering work with MAD magazine. Over 30 MAD covers are reproduced as well as the complete "SUPERDUPERMAN!" comic (from MAD #4, April 1953).
Kurtzman left MAD after disagreements with Gaines; and Chapter 4 covers the period in Kurtzman's life when he put out three other magazines: Trump, Humbug and Help! Two Trump covers, 14 Humbug covers, and 15 Help! covers are included as well as a complete 11 page cartoon called "The Grasshopper and the Ant" (from Esquire, May 1960) featuring a beatnik grasshopper and a workaholic ant.
Chapter 5 is mostly about Kurtzman's 25 years producing "Little Annie Fanny" comics for Playboy. A three page "Little Annie Fanny" origin story, which traces her life from a childhood in Al Capp's Dogpatch, through her growing up in "Peanuts" and "Little Orphan Annie," and ending with one-panel affairs with "Dick Tracy," "Beetle Bailey," and "Mandrake the Magician," appears here for the first time.Read more ›
Is it? Well, it's certainly impressive. The Art of Harvey Kurtzman, the Mad Genius of Comics, boasts original artwork from the Master's archives, plus a great deal of rare, unpublished material, all of it spanning his entire career, thus bringing you closer than ever before to Harvey Kurtzman's creative process.
That's exciting in and of itself, and there's abundant reminder here of just how effective and amusing Harvey was when relying on his own drawing for a project (He tended for a good chunk of his career to just do layouts for other artists to follow); he had a very expressive, elongated style, deceptively simple and always captivating.
The one downside is that, unlike Greg Sadowski's book on Kurtzman, there is very little commentary from the man himself, but, hey, this is quite specifically an art book, after all.
We do get a useful reminder of what a benevolent boss Harvey was, helping give young Robert Crumb and Woody Allen some valuable space in the page of his HELP! Magazine, or giving his blessing to young Terry Gilliam when the artist wanted to do a photo shoot with the uniquely photogenic John Cleese (thus creating, quite by accident, the epicentre of what would become Monty Python!).
And besides, anything that includes a special section showing the painstaking layer-technique Kurtzman and colleague Will Elder used when creating Playboy's Little Annie Fanny is pretty spectacular.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Leonardo Da Vinci of the comic book world, and this book does him justice. Slightly smaller than enormous high quality prints.Published 3 months ago by Karl
GREAT TRIBUTE TO A GREAT MASTER OF HUMOR AND COMICS. THIS MAN IS MENTOR AND LIKE A SAINT TO ROBERT CRUMB AND MANY OTHER GREAT CARTOONISTS AND COMEDIANS. Read morePublished 5 months ago by C. Kivanç Sunar
In great shape, looks terrific. One label that wouldn't come off easily and left some slight residue. But in terrific shape. Thank you.Published 9 months ago by Justine K.
Kurtzman was unique, this book gives a glimpse into the mind of one of the best at satire of the 20th centuryPublished 10 months ago by Ralph L. Reiley
Wonderful book. As described. Thank you. Highly recommend.Published 11 months ago by Christine Szolkowski
I didn't realize what a powerful force Harvey Kurtzman was in the development of the comics and especially Mad magazine. Read morePublished 22 months ago by M. Berneck
Great comic history, full of beautiful drawings and interesting stories. This book did not disappoint and as a hardback book it feels great just holding the thing :)Published on November 5, 2013 by Gary M. Hogue