Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Spaghetti, Ah Manara

As Marvel and DC's bland, homogenised corporate-dictated output continues to interest me less ans less (even Uncanny Avengers #1 was dull, despite decent dialogue and decent, though substandard for Cassaday) art...maybe it's because the semi-villainisation of Cyclops bugs me so much),  that saved cash helps fund my purchases of higher end luxury editions.

I was chomping at the bit waiting for Dave Stevens: Covers and Stories to arrive. A hardcover companion to IDW's excellent Complete Rocketeer and Complete Sketches & Studies editions, this was solicited as featuring all of Stevens' non-Rocketeer comic work. I haven't read it yet but have to admit to being disappointed as it wasn't what I was expecting. Rather than a collection of all his comic pages (and there weren't may), this simply shows examples of each strip. There are a few complete strips but the majority of the book is reproduced cover art, pinups and rough work. Nice and I'll enjoy it...but not what I was expecting.

(Pix from another blog, BTW)

What's more satisfying is the continuing Manara Library from Dark Horse. The latest volume is a great mix of complete longer graphic novels (such as The Ape, an allegorical retelling of the Monkey King legend, and Federico Filini's Trip To Tulum) and short stories. The stock shifts from glossy to matt to best present the art, sometimes colour, black and white or even with a sepia wash. As a showcase for manara's work, these are simply superb...



...they lead me to a moral quandary. I'm enjoying this and plan on getting them all but my interest is sparked in Manara now. Dark Horse are releasing a further 3 similar collections...but it's work that Manara is probably most notorious for, his erotica. I've seen a few pages online and they are sexually explicit but not "grubby2: there's something joyous and not salacious about them. However, I'm sure I'll like the art but a bit uncomfortable about the content, especially with the price tag. Do I or don't I? It's a dilemma, I tell ya!

While I deliberate, seemingly in response to one guy's heartfelt plea for a single collection unaccompanied by the Keith Pollard graphic novel, Marvel are putting out a single edition of Moebius' Silver Surfer album. I was never into this at the time (I was about 15 or so and it's non-Marvel style put me off) but as I've come around to some of the art of Moebius (and want to sample the SF stuff), I'll be ordering this, even if it's only a regular comic format (shame, Marvel!)...

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