Essays

Here’s an archive of several of my essays on comics and such:

*NEW* Art Vs. Commerce — Another oldie that you haven’t seen unless you were one of the few and proud who followed my Live Journal blog. I address the sale of fan art, and the dichotomy between popularity and quality, and I conduct a related experiment on my Tumblr feed.

Toth’s Condemnation — This piece appeared on the front page here at my site, but since I’ve neglected until now to archive it here on my Essays page, recent visitors may have missed it. It’s an attempt to clarify Toth’s disdain for modern trends in entertainment.

An old essay I wrote about Magnum P.I., which explores the relevance of setting and period to story. “Every fiber of Magnum’s world bears the smell of his festering mind-wound.”

On the occasion of Good Friday, an essay about Good Friday. Judas, Jesus, and all that jazz.

Toth’s Line: Parts One and Two — Discussing cartoonist Alex Toth’s mastery of line.

Toth’s Development: Parts One and Two — Discussing cartoonist Alex Toth’s development as an artist.

On the Occasion of Toth’s Passing — A few words on Alex Toth’s techniques.

Meskin The Obscure, and The Hall of Fame — In this piece I attempt to explain Mort Meskin’s crucial importance to the history of American comics. I wrote it last year, when Meskin was nominated but not selected for inclusion in the Eisner Award Hall of Fame. This year I’m pleased to see that he has been inducted!

Seven Notable Aspects of Frank Frazetta’s Technique

More On Frazetta — In which I discuss Frazetta’s training.

On the Occasion of Dave Stevens’s Passing

The State of Figurative Art

Lighting in Comics

Thoughts on the Horror Genre 1: Horror’s Onus:
Thoughts on the Horror Genre 2: Fear, Tactics, and Weight Class
Thoughts on the Horror Genre 3: Vampire V. Werewolf Action
Thoughts on the Horror Genre 4: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Original vs. 2003 Remake
Thoughts on the Horror Genre 5: Zombies’ Appeal and the Consolidation of Fear

Tumbler experiment: Does subject matter count more than artistry?

Also, here’s one I wrote for Comic Book Resources some years ago:

8 Things I’d Like To See More Of In Comics

And in the bygone world of ink and paper:

I recently wrote a 4,000 word appreciation of the drawings of Heinrich Kley, which appears in Volume 2 of the Lost Art of Heinrich Kley.

I also wrote the foreword to volume 8 of Dark Horse’s ongoing TARZAN collections, which are drawn by the wonderful Jesse Marsh. (Psst — my entire foreword and several pages of Marsh’s art can be read via the “Search Inside” function at the book’s Amazon page.)

My obituary for Alex Toth (describing his career and reputation rather than his methods) can be read in The Comics Journal #277.

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