Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

May 23, 2007

Ed Wood Is No Fletcher Hanks

imageI realize I'm supposed to be knowledgeable and jaded about how marketing works and thus OK with the notion that the grandly odd Golden Age-era comic book artist Fletcher Hanks is being portrayed as a comic book version of the gold standard for bad art, film director Ed Wood. I mean, I'm totally aware "Comics' Giovanni Pastrone" is going to kick-start a grand total of zero feature articles, let alone nice pieces of placement like this.

But seriously, just in case people start to buy into this idea, let me put into rhetorical play the thought that there's a vast distance between a well-meaning incompetent apparently in love with his medium who tried to make such art and failed wildly for much of his professional life like Wood and the bizarrely imaginative Hanks, who worked only briefly in comics, likely for the money involved. Hanks' comics don't fail to meet a basic professional standard as much as they're just totally out-there and weird and seemingly don't give a shit about any of the rapidly coalescing standard formulas of his time. He is not only not an incompetent comics maker, he may have been a great one -- albeit despite himself.
posted 3:10 am PST | Permalink

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