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Mad taught me to be skeptical of all mass media and to question reality (including my beloved Mad), but the lesson requires a belief that there might actually be something like consensual reality. Nonsense assumes there’s such a thing as sense and puts it in relief by denying reality’s power even if just for a moment.
in "Foolish Questions" 12 mar 2020

Recapitulando capítulos anteriores – o cheapness dos comix e a materialidade destes, e atitudes generalizadas a questionar: i) a reavaliação cultural dos comix com suspeitas à academia; ii) o pioneirismo exploratório do meio entretanto domesticado e institucionalizado; iii) a regra da ausência de regras que resiste ao estratificar das convenções e princípios universais em regulamentos obrigatórios, sendo os bons comix aqueles cujo "gestalt of a given work" intersecciona "the holistic spirit" do "cultural component" que procuramos no zeitgeist por estas bandas. Hoje terminamos insinuações apresentando caso com um senhor que dispensa apresentações a propósito de outros senhores também famosos no seu heyday: Art Spiegelman na sinopse ao "SCREWBALL!: The Cartoonists Who Made the Funnies Funny" reunido por Paul C. Tumey.

TL;DR: cartoons intencionados a publicação barata, descartável, massificada, confinados à lógica do $$$ e apelando à finura de uma grosseria vulgar – sátira por excessiva e estereotipo de mau gosto – a camadas de leitores não necessariamente instruídos em erudições posteriores ao iluminismo ou até renascença, elevados à categoria de arte com à maior e consagração em exposições nos museus e edições de luxo, ie: o oposto da sua origem, uso e finalidade.

Now that comics have put on long pants and started to strut around with the grownups by calling themselves graphic novels, it’s important to remember that comics have their roots in subversive joy and nonsense.

Começando do Rube Goldberg:

Rube Goldberg, a pal of Chaplin. Rube Goldberg was the Christopher Columbus of the screwball contraption, finding a way to get from point A to point B by traveling through all the other letters of the alphabet. And, like Columbus, a number of other intrepid explorers had gotten there first. The exhibition: [...] dozens of comic art originals on the walls with full broadsheet-size Sunday comic pages, vitrines over-stuffed with book covers, licensed games, postcards, buttons, and other ephemera. The Art of Rube Goldberg, the definitive coffee table book from 2013 served as the catalyst for this exhibit.
in "Foolish Questions" 12 mar 2020

Exposição e coffe table book, tudo com arte no título: o plot thickens mas ainda não chegámos lá. Algum contexto primeiro: screwball, (*) His first big hit, "Foolish Questions," from 1908 - one of the many pre-Internet memes Goldberg generated in the more than sixty series he drew. mashed up.

Foolish Question #25,743,000:
" - So are you somehow trying to say that Rube Goldberg was a serious Fine Artist???"
" - No, you Boob! I’m pointing out to the uninitiated that Rube Goldberg was a fine Screwball Artist!"

Screwball is an elusive attitude in the language of laughs. ["Screwball!: The Cartoonists Who Made the Funnies Funny" por Paul C. Tumey] prowls for common denominators but the closer one looks, the less they seem to have in common. Virtually all the earliest newspaper comics were designed to be funny, but not all the funnies were screwball. It’s actually sort of, well, screwy — and it may just be that screwball is its own shortest definition. One foot of the slippery screwball stretches back through vaudeville to commedia dell’arte with its stock situations and characters; the other foot strides forward toward Dada, surrealism, and the theater of the absurd — while the third foot of this ungainly creature remains firmly balanced on a banana peel. Screwball comics tend toward the manic, excessive, over-the-top, obsessive, irrational, anarchic, and grotesque; they can veer toward parody or satire, but at their core they are an assault on reason and its puny limitations. They wage a gleeful war on civilization and its discontents—armed mostly with water-pistols, stink bombs, and laughing gas.
in "Foolish Questions" 12 mar 2020

E algum contexto ao contexto: comics, et $$$, um reminder:

Comics always existed in the interstice between art and commerce. Syndicates back in the day often required their artists to provide "toppers" for their Sunday pages—small "throwaway" strips that could independently sit atop the main feature so papers could brag about having, say, thirty-two strips in their supplements rather than sixteen, or, even better, they could replace the feature with an ad.
in "Foolish Questions" 12 mar 2020

Agora o twist que importa. Este wacky slapsick humor arrancado de páginas de jornais destinados ao consumo imediato e distribuição massiva / descartável é atirado às galerias de arte e livros de luxo para a posteridade. Conseguimos imaginar os cartoonistas reunidos neste "lavish picture book with over six hundred comics, drawings, and photos, many of which haven’t been seen since their twenty-four-hour life-spans in newspapers around a century ago" a congeminar que essa seria the ultimate joke que podiam querer conseguir com os seus cartoons. Não precisamos de imaginar, é-nos dito:

Foolish Question #25,743,001.75:
" - So, can screwball comics ever be art?"
" - No, you sap. Humor is the last thing one can take seriously—it’s priceless."


  • I must burden you with a terrible confession. This is not a work of art!… My artistic deficiencies remove me far from the sphere of Rembrandt and Michael Angelo. My ever-present realization of the material virtues of kidney stew and gorgonzola cheese has permanently destroyed whatever of the ethereal that may have been born within me…. A touch of art may nourish the soul, but a good laugh always aids the digestion. (do "Goldberg’s warning at the front of Chasing the Blues, his first anthology of cartoons, in 1912")
  • He doubtless would have laughed, or shaken his head in disbelief, if asked how his work related to Duchamp’s machine aesthetic, or to Dada (diz Adam Gopnik)
  • Duchamp and Man Ray embraced Goldberg as a fellow Dada traveler by putting one of his cartoons in their 1921 issue of New York Dada, but the feeling wasn’t exactly mutual. Like many American cartoonists of his day, Goldberg was dismissive of nonobjective art.
  • Rube believed that fine art was good only if it won public acceptance. Sales were Rube’s test of beauty. (diz Peter Marzio)
in "Foolish Questions" 12 mar 2020

Neste ponto a História começa a adaptar-se aos novos espíritos do tempo.

For the first time in the history of the form, comics are beginning to have a history. Attractively designed collections of Little Nemo, Krazy Kat, Thimble Theater, Barnaby, Pogo, Peanuts, and so many more—all with intelligent historical appreciations—are finding their way into libraries. In 1970 Goldberg’s cartoons were something of a "block buster" in the sense of opening up the redlined ghetto of "low" art, welcoming it into the hallowed precincts of High Culture. They were among the earliest examples of comic art ever to be displayed on art museum walls. Over on the comics side of the collapsing high-low divide, Goldberg’s influence can be found in the work of generations of influential cartoonists, including Dr. Seuss, Harvey Kurtzman, and Robert Crumb—all of whom have now been exhibited in museums. In fact, seeing comic art on walls has become delightfully commonplace.
in "Foolish Questions" 12 mar 2020

E aqui chegados ao segway que nos levará à próxima instalação deste nosso já-demasiado-longo-rant. "Back in the golden age of newspaper comics, there used to be space and time for written language." Quase-quase a chegar à negação do tempo e espaço nos comix.

Ah, stereotypes! Cartoons are a visual language of simplification and exaggeration whose vocabulary was entirely premised on them. We humans are hard-wired toward stereotyping, and, alas, comics echo the way we think. It’s part of the medium’s danger and its power.
in "Foolish Questions" 12 mar 2020

We-be-back, young ones!

  • arsty
  • $$$

Xtra clippings porque podemos querer voltar aqui. Além do Goldberg o Spiegelman destaca outros autores. Frederick Burr Opper ("a founding father of the funnies, he’s credited with making speech balloons a regular part of the comics’ formal vocabulary"), Eugene "Zim" Zimmerman ("one of America’s most famous cartoonists at the turn of the twentieth century", com uma "unfortunate predilection for the ethnic and racial themes" razão por que "despite the large influence he had on other cartoonists of his time — Zim has been more or less canceled from comics histories"), George Herriman que também não precisa apresentações e faz ponte ao Gene Ahern ("developed one of the underappreciated hidden glories in the history of comics"), Milt Gross (perhaps the essence of the idiom — cartooning distilled into precious drops of Banana Oil):

Gross was doubly gifted: an irresistibly risible writer and visually a comics genius. His cartoons are pure doodle: effortless and effervescent. The art looks like he was giggling uncontrollably while the cartoons just shpritzed out of his pen—and his laugh is infectious, bouncing off the page so you laugh too.

...e deste último faz ponte ao Harvey Kurtzman, não incluído no livro por escapar às décadas revisitadas (from the late nineteenth century through World War II) mas recordado. Recordamos:

Much of the material in Mad belongs to the lineage traced in this book. In fact, this book could be seen as the road to Mad. Indeed, the early Mad is the apotheosis of the aesthetic presented in Screwball! If the road to Mad was a loopy rollercoaster, the road from it has been riddled with potholes and has finally run into a wall. Mad was a revolutionary comic book. Its pointed parodies and satires, its anarchic questioning of authority, and its class-clown silliness shaped the generation that grew up to protest the Vietnam War. But, alas, revolutions grow old and die. This past October, the geriatric remains of Mad were put into cryonic deep freeze, to exist mostly as bimonthly specialty-shop reprints with a planned annual of new material to keep it in half-life in case any swell merchandising opportunities come along.

in "Foolish Questions" 12 mar 2020

revoluções morrem à traição