Monday, January 11, 2010

My Beautiful Career Installment 3

Actually, Chaykin was responsible for my falling in love with Toth. I had dug Chaykin from the time he’d been inked by Neal Adams on “Sword of Sorcery”, and had been brought along by him as he started increasingly imitating Toth. The tipping point came when Gold Key reprinted “Paul Revere’s Ride” to commemorate the nation’s bi-centennial. “Hey, this is sort of like Chaykin”, I thought to myself. “This is kind of cool. Actually, it’s REALLY cool”. A switch flipped in my skull, and I was and am a Toth junky to this day.
During this period, I discovered underground comics. I was especially taken with Richard Corben and Robert Crumb. I loved Crumb’s constant stylistic and storytelling experimentation. I was also in awe of his sexual candor. I was a terminally closeted young gay man growing up in Anchorage Alaska. I thought I would be ostracized if my dark secret was discovered. To see Crumb laying it all out was a beacon of hope.
“Heavy Metal” magazine premiered, and I discovered the European cartoonists, especially Moebius and Caza. Another big event was when Russ Cochran began reprinting the entire EC line, shooting from the original artwork in pristine black and white. I eagerly anticipated the first set, “Weird Science”, for the art by Wally Wood and Al Williamson. Instead I was floored by the pre-Mad comics by Harvey Kurtzman, especially his story, “The Man Who Stopped Time"

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