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Comic Art Magazine #7
posted January 31, 2005
M. Todd Hignite, Daniel Zimmer, Sara Rowe Hignite, Denis Kitchen, Joey Anuff, Patrick Rosenkranz, Peter Maresca, David Collier, Dylan Williams, Ken Parile
80 pages, $9, 2005
Comic Art Magazine
is a comics publication that rather than engaging with the good and bad of the medium right now has chosen to investigate the good and interesting no matter when it's been done. There are two underlying values that are frequently given expression. The first is a re-telling of comics history that emphasizes the quality work done both before and during the medium's formal lifespan. The second is a concern with comics as they are created by artists, an understated attention to what it's like to put yourself in service of this particular form of expression. It's from the latter that springs the most popular feature in past issues, a look at the studio and working spaces of working cartoonists.
This issue is another generally strong one, beautifully illustrated and with production values that generally smoke their competitors. It features two articles of particular note, if only for how they embody what the magazine has come to stand for. "Harvey Kurtzman's Hexaflexagon" by Joey Anuff gets into a failed effort by Harvey Kurtzman, these weird comics that could be folded in and out like one of those paper fortune-tellers that kids make. In patient prose, Anuff not only spells out how they worked and how they were likely to have been presented, he makes the case for Kurtzman's involvement in projects as a way of re-evaluating Kurtzman's artistic talent.
A second piece, David Collier's "Krazy Kats," is a rambling memoir of a trip that cartoonists Collier and Pat Moriarity took to George Herriman's home on their way to a San Diego convention. Collier overemphasizes some of his points, but you get a nice picture of the hopelessness that many feel trying to carve out a space for themselves in largely unappreciated art form; the fact that it's set in 1994, the year the alternative comic book died, is an added bonus.