Monday, December 24, 2012

Yep, it is a tough time for Santa...he has to do all of that giving, but what does he get?...
Hopefully Mrs. Kringle has something good waiting for him at home, just like we always have something good for the readers here at Plopish!

A Merry X-mas and a Happy New Year!

see you in 2013

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Yes,  hate...a strong emotion, a powerful force...and they say that most critics are just failed artists gone sour on art, desperately seeking revenge for their own shortcomings by directing ridicule at the work of others, these sad creatures being fed not by the light of love and creation, but by the dark and destructive energies of hate and envy...

But not so here at Plopish!, I myself do present our readers with insightful criticism of select masterpieces from the realms of Comicopia but today I also offer for your scrutinizing eyes, my own early cartoon work!

Yes, the above rendering is a scan of a quite talented little piece I did back in 1984, when I was a mere lad of eighteen. The inspirational sources are perhaps a little bit too obvious in this piece, but I command the readers to please remember that this is from the hand of a very young artist, not yet fully matured. At first glance we can definitely detect some Jack Kirby (dynamic "action" physique), Wallace "Wally" Wood (dramatic close-ups), classic Manga (intricate balancing of blacks and whites) Harvey Pekar (autobiographical, "self-exposing" narrative) and of course many others,

The story, is as simple and straightforward as a Haiku poem, the main (and only) character simply "hates summer" (cleverly used as the title) because the sunlight makes the dust particles collecting on his furniture, more visible...

Pretty darn brilliant I'd say!  and one can only lament that my decision to pursue a career in fine art prevented me from further investigations into the possibilities of the graphic novel form, considering such promising beginnings...."but that's another story" as they say...

To be continued

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Doing it easy here today, because...well, because!

Which means simply posting a link to Ed Piskor's absolutely brilliant online comic (we's hip to da nu shit man!) : The Hip Hop Family Tree 

It doesn't matter if you are interested in Hip Hop music or not, this is a facinating story about a highly significant popular culture and its emergence from humble beginnings in 1970's New York to the global super-stardom of today.

And the easy part is?...well, this was shamelessly copied from another excellent comic book resource, Danish website Nummer 9


To be continued

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Changes... you start noticing them more as you grow older, the little signs that time is passing and some day, time will pass you over! Meaning: Death... yes, the "D" word! the end! finito!

But what's that got to do with comic books?...nothing I suppose, except that Manuel "Spain" Rodriguez  died during the week and that means one of the greats of underground comics has turned in his last page.

Rodriguez was from the original Zap comics team, the legends who practically invented underground comix but now that he's gone, I realised that I knew very little of "Spain"...(as he was nicknamed already in childhood, growing up in a racially mixed neighborhood), I had often mistaken his drawings for those of S. Clay Wilson, and had previously deemed these to be "below par" when compared to my underground hero: R.Crumb.

What I'd missed out on, was that Spain's art represented the real modern art of the late twentieth century. Art not dealing with the absurdities of (high brow) modern art formalism (the surfaces people paint and draw on are flat, so it's s illusion, dig?..dig?..) instead, his was an art exploring the seedy and violent life at the lower levels of industrial-age metropolises, or chronicling the adventures of Spain's character Thrashman,  a Marxist super hero!  fighting the oppressor by treating KKKapitalists as they should be treated: with a dose of hot lead from his squad machine gun!

Now that he's dead, Spain Rodriguez sadly turns out to have been my kind of artist!  drawing sexy women in high heels and tight leather, patrolling steamy garbage stewn streets! Spain filled his panels with powerful motorcycles, roaring through industrial wastelands at night, ridden by nihilistic freedom loving outsider biker/ revolutionaries, blasting machine guns on their journey to Hell, or Nirvana!

Well...I guess that's what you get for not being born in a cultural hot spot like the good ol' USA...important things happen that you only discover forty years later...but I'm making good on that now, because not all of market capitalism is bad, there are good companies, like beautiful Fantagraphics who've devoted their efforts not at making profits marketing stuff they know is garbage, but by putting out cool shit! and who naturally published the collected Trashman stories as Trashman Lives! back in 1989. This also means it's long out of print, so I'm buying it over the internet, from a second-hand bookseller in Germany...

So, it's like this: "Spain" Rodriguez is dead, but his art lives on...because it was done in the democratic media of the mass produced comic book. I don't need to go to a big, expensively built,  art museum to see it, or be a wealthy private collector owning the actual pages he drew. I can pick his art up at a reasonable price, as a printed copy, no different from thousands of other similar copies. Take it to my home and read it, enjoy it, learn from it, share it with others.

Yep, "Spain" Rodriguez is dead. No way to change that. But his art lives on, through the Internet, through publishing, through printing, paper, mass production, commerce, inspiration, hard work, black ink, white paper, grey pencils.

"Spain" Rodriguez is dead

Trashman lives!