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May 05, 2008


The Great Comic Book Heroes by Feiffer

I had finished reading this great book by Jules Feiffer, The Great Comic Book Heroes. It has been a terrific experience so I think I must post my thoughts about it here.

Jules Feiffer is one of those comicbook artists that produce a landmark in the medium and whose work is so definite and inspirational that could be considered as a creative force in itself. He worked in comic book in the 40s. After this part or his career, he produced a daily comic strip for Village Voice from 1958 to 1997. His work as a writer of books (the majority of them children books) and comic novels (he despises the term "Graphic Novel") bring to life some magnificent works as Munro (adapted as a short movie by Rembrandt Studios and winner of an Oscar in 1960) and Tantrum.

This book start recalling childhood memories related to comicbook reading. Superman is one of the main subjects. Feiffer considers that readers identified themselves as Clark Kent or Superman or perhaps both. This is a classic love triangle with Lois Lane, Superman y Clark Kent. Superman doesn't need girls that annoy him and Clark loves ardently the girl.

Another chapter is about Captain Marvel , currently known as Shazam. Its similarities to Superman took him out of circulation, legally. It is curious and funny that now is a DC Character, defending the world side by side with Superman.

Many Superheroes are mentioned in this book. I would like to put a spotlight on Hawkman, although, to my generation, our Hawkman is an outterworlder bring to life by Truman, Alcatena and Parsons.

Of course, a chapter is consecrated to Spirit by Eisner. Feiffer worked for Eisner Studios. This character is so important in comic history that its impact in the development of the medium is paramount. Eisner was so powerful and creative that it is still something new creators must study.

The chapter I really loved to read is related to superheroes comicbook pioneers. Let us think about the 40s when comic book where produced in lest than a week and creators worked incessantly. When this situation cooled down, may quit and went to publicity.

Here is Munro, Embed from YouTube. I hope you'll enjoy it.

And Here is an embed of the upcoming Spirit movie, to be in theatres in 2009.


Bob Andelman said...

You might enjoy this Mr. Media podcast interview with cartoonist Jules Feiffer, who talks about the new collection of his comic strips from the Village Voice, getting his start with Will Eisner on The Spirit, his plays (Little Murders), his movies (Carnal Knowledge, Popeye), the Disney musical adaptation of The Man in the Ceiling, and his forthcoming memoirs.

VN Recording Company said...

Thank you, Mr, Andelman.

I feel honoured by your comment.
I was taking a look at your blogs and they are impressive. (And I thought that having to feed a blog and to satellites was hard, but, look at your blogs. What do you have, Thirteen?).

I will subscribe to your blogs and read (and listen!) to them. It is quite an improvement this podcast blogging. And thank you for your kind advice. I’ll stay tuned.

Being the writer of the Dark Horse book about Will Eisner, I must recommend you a Spanish book that I think is out of print but, who knows? The book is El eSPIRITu de los comics by Javier Coma. It’s publisher was Toutain and it is a historic and critic essay with many references to all the Spirit comics. Javier Coma is an authoritative voice in comic critics here in Spain, with more than forty books, novels and dictionaries portraying the evolution of the Comics Media and in general the American Pop Culture.

I know, is in Spanish and it is a book published in 1981, but it really help us in the 80s to have a complete picture of this great comic book author’s work.


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