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The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comicsby Denis Kitchen
Synopses & Reviews
Not many of us make it into the dictionary as an adjective. But then again, Rube Goldberg was no ordinary noun. He was a cartoonist, humorist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor, and in a 72-year career he wrote and illustrated nearly 50,000 cartoons. Goldberg (1883and#8211;1970) was the most famous cartoonist of his time, best known for his comical inventions, which were syndicated in daily newspapers throughout the world. Author Jennifer George celebrates all aspects of her grandfatherand#8217;s career, from his very first published drawings in his high school newspaper and college yearbook to his iconic inventions, his comic strips and advertising work, and his later sculpture and Pulitzer Prizeand#8211;winning political cartoons. Also included are essays by noted comics historians, rare photographs, letters, memorabilia, and patents, many reproduced here for the first time. Brilliantly designed and packaged to capture the inventiveness of Rube Goldbergand#8217;s work, The Art of Rube Goldberg is a coffee table book the whole family can enjoy.
From Merriam-Websterand#8217;s Dictionary:
Rube Goldand#183;berg. adjective \rand#252;b-and#712;gand#333;l(d)-and#716;band#601;rg\: accomplishing by complex means
what seemingly could be done simply andlt;a kind of Rube Goldberg contraption . . . with five hundred moving parts and#8212;L. T. Grantandgt;; also: characterized by such complex means. also: Rube Goldand#183;bergand#183;iand#183;an
and#8220;Goldbergand#8217;s cartoons touch the edge of modern art.and#8221;
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; and#8212;Adam Gopnik, from his introduction
"Though his tenure lasted less than two years at the publication, Harvey Kurtzman is the genius responsible for Mad magazine's design, cast of characters, and unique brand of irreverence. In this beautifully illustrated volume, Kitchen and Buhle follow Kurtzman from his youth in the Depression-era Bronx, through his early freelance work, to his big break with William Gaines of E.C. Comics and beyond. At E.C., Kurtzman aired his anti-racist, anti-imperialist views in war comics Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat. Kurtzman spent 'long hours in the New York Public Library researching' to create authentic entertainment that also 'compels contemplation.' Once he had a family to feed, Kurtzman embarked on a less time-consuming humor project, which in 1952 launched as a comic book called Mad. For 23 issues, Kurtzman did it all-'every word from front to back, and laid out every cover, each story, and filler'-and, ultimately, saved E.C. from bankruptcy. When E.C. denied the artist's request for partial ownership of the company, Kurtzman left. Eventually, he would establish three different humor magazines, none of which as successful as Mad, and spent the rest of his career doing a comic for Playboy. He remains a major influence on today's comic writers, and this vibrant collection makes it easy to see why." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The Art of Harvey Kurtzman" is the only authorized celebration of this master of American comics. The definitive book includes hundreds of never-before-seen illustrations, paintings, pencil sketches, and more.
The names Joe Simon and Jack Kirby are synonyandshy;mous with comic books, and their partnership ushandshy;ered in the Golden Age of comics starting in the 1940s. Together they created memorable characters such as Captain America and Sandman, invented romance comandshy;ics, and raised the standard for the genres of western, crime, and horror comic books. Over the course of three decades they wrote and illustrated several hundred comics, many of which are reproduced in this oversized volume covering all aspects of their amazing career. Selected and with an introduction by Mark Evanier, the foremost authority on the work of Simon and Kirby, and an afterword by Jim Simon, son of Joe Simon,and#160;the book includes artwork photographed from the original art in Joe Simonand#8217;s private archive and showcases the seminal work of Simon and Kirby and their artistry as it has never been seen before.
Jack Kirby created or co-created some of comic booksand#8217; most popular characters including Captain America, The X-Men, The Hulk, The Fantastic Four, The Mighty Thor, Darkseid, and The New Gods. More significantly, he created much of the visual language for fantasy and adventure comics. There were comics before Kirby, but for the most part their page layout, graphics, and visual dynamic aped what was being done in syndicated newspaper strips. Almost everything that was different about comic books began in the forties on the drawing table of Jack Kirby. This is his story by one who knew him welland#151;the authorized celebration of the one and only and#147;King of Comicsand#8221; and his groundbreaking work.
and#147;I donand#8217;t think itand#8217;s any accident that . . . the entire Marvel universe and the entire DC universe are all pinned or rooted on Kirbyand#8217;s concepts.and#8221; and#151;Michael Chabon
About the Author
Denis Kitchen is a pioneering cartoonist, writer, editor, and underground comic book publisher. He represents the Kurtzman estate, and maintains the archives. In 1986 Kitchen established the nonprofit Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and served as its president for its first eighteen years. He lives in western Massachusetts. Paul Buhle is a senior lecturer in the American Civilization and History departments at Brown University. He has written and edited thirty-five books, including Jews and American Comics, and lives in Rhode Island. Harry Shearer is a comic personality and author, director, satirist, musician, radio host, playwright, multimedia artist, and record label owner.
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