Sunday, January 20, 2008

the AMERICAN COMIC BOOK a Detroit Perspective...


Yesterday my son Derek and I went to an art gallery in Pontiac to view some local Detroit area "Comic Book" artists. I kind of had false impression that this show may have showcased some of the greats in the comics industry that hailed from Detroit and then went on to move to New York and find work for Marvel and DC. I knew several of these people when they were in their heyday between 1974-1980. Those would include my good friend Mike Nasser (now Netzer), Arvell Jones and his brother Desmond, Kieth Pollard (who did have a page from Iron Man on display, but I do not think that he was actually involved in the show, I believe that Marty Hirchak owned the artwork), Rich Buckler (who was truly a great artist on Fantastic Four, Thor, Deathlok, and many other titles) and to a lesser extent, Greg Theakston and Carl Lundgren (who is mentioned in the advertisement, but I did not see any of his work on display).

Although this was not the case, I enjoyed the show and recommend it to anyone who likes comics and want to see some good artwork.

Although many artists had their work on display I have to admit that some of the work was very amateur in character. About half of the featured artists were of professional quality.

The spotlight was fortunately on local artist Marty Hirchak, who draws an underground comic called Pop Art Funnies. Not only were his original pages for PAF very good, but he did some excellent paintings that were tributes to Spiderman creator Steve Ditko, one of the all time greats of the comics. These pieces were what really shined! One thing that I am a real purist about is staying faithful to the old fashioned way: drawn freehand with a pencil and inking the sketch with india ink and a number 2 brush (no Adobe Photoshop allowed!) and this is one area where Hirchak does not disapoint! His inks are excellent and his color paintings (done on laminated smooth wood) have the feel of the Golden Age era.








2 comments:

Michael Netzer said...

Nice piece and photos, Tim. Detroit has been a powerhouse of comics creators.

Joe the Troll said...

Very nice work. I recognize Pollard, Buckler, and a couple others.

You're the only one I know that can share the enthusiasm I've been feeling for all the classic stuff I've been reading. Early Kirby, pre-Spirit Eisner. Leiber was a good one with a very unique style that I didn't get to see growing up. I even found something (I forget what) that had Ditko inks on Kirby pencils! I'm loving it.