Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Reviews- DRAWING POWER: A COMPENDIUM OF CARTOON ADVERTISING and RACHEL RISING VOL. 5: NIGHT COMETH


DRAWING POWER: A COMPENDIUM OF CARTOON ADVERTISING (Fantagraphics, 2011; Softcover)

Not quite a collected edition, not quite an art book, Drawing Power: A Compendium Of Cartoon Advertising is a fascinating overview of the impact that comic strip characters had on the world of commerce. This book covers advertisements from the 1870s through the 1940s. Fans of classic newspaper strips will be especially interested in this book.


There are examples of Winsor McCay's and Doctor Seuss' advertisement artwork. Popular strips of the day like The Yellow Kid and Bringing Up Father were used to pimp anything and everything that they could slap their likeness on. Cigarettes? No problem! There are examples of every single popular character of the day (Mickey Mouse, Popeye, etc.).

As is the case with any material from this era, there are things that are politically incorrect, i.e. unfavorable racial caricatures, etc. I look at this sort of thing in a historical curiosity sort of light, although people looking at this with 2015 eyes will likely get their panties in a bunch.


This book is a delightful romp through the past, a glimpse into a simpler time. While it is tempting to think of the olden days as the good ol' days, they in truth were not in so many ways. I just appreciate how downright artistic everything seemed to be back then, from advertisements to building architecture.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.

The OCD zone- Some of the later examples are comic book or strip-styled advertisements and are shrunk down, often requiring a magnifying glass to read.
Linework and Color restoration: These are raw scans of good resolution, although I dislike how the yellowing was left on many of them. I want to see things looking as close to new as possible, not with wear and tear.
Paper stock: Beautiful off-white uncoated stock.
Binding: Smyth sewn binding.
Cardstock cover notes: The cover has a unique coating that is textured with embossed lettering.

  
RACHEL RISING VOL. 5: NIGHT COMETH (Abstract Studio, 2015; Softcover)

Collects Rachel Rising #25-30 (cover dates April- December, 2014)
Writer and Artist: Terry Moore

Oh man, things are really heating during the seemingly perpetual winter in the town of Manson. Zoe is starting to challenge Rachel as the focal point for this series. This series is a real slow burn, playing out like a television drama with accents of Horror. Think of it as an undead version of Northern Exposure, only these undead are not brainless zombies and there is no moose. This title remains one of the bright spots in modern comics. Check it out!
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The OCD zone-
Paper stock: Uncoated stock.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: The coating has a matte finish but is of a high quality in that it doesn't scuff easily. Too often this style of coating is easily scuffed, but not so here.
 

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