Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Daniel Clowes, "Unused OK Soda Ad Art", Melt Down Comics, Independent Comics

I brought this from the artist himself at a signing at Meltdown Comics, in Hollywood, California, U.S.A.; It must have been in the early ’00’s. I choose that vague date because, at the same even, the artist sold me a copy of the poster for the film, “Happiness”, which was released in late 1998.

"Unused OK Soda Ad Art" was the only piece Mr. Clowes was selling that was within my price range; the comic book page originals were not.

I collect Clowes because I think he’s a master draftsman and an inventive storyteller. His mordant world view appeals to me. His ink technique yields benefit to close study. 

In the case of "Unused OK Soda Ad Art"  for instance, I find the faux-magnifying-glass inset instructive in the way he subtly “feathers” the close-up shapes as they curve away from cam, where in the “unmagnified” larger image these same shapes are described with single lines. I also am intrigued by the fact that each line is of a single thickness, but avoids the “rapidograph” feel by consistently tapering at their ends (whenever they aren’t bisected by another line.) 

I love the oblique composition of the magnifying-glass insert, both by itself and how it fits in with the over-all piece. I recognize the subtle asymmetricality of both the composition in total and it’s invidiual components.  All in all, I find "Unused OK Soda Ad Art" simple yet somehow deeply satisfying.

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