Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I had previously mentioned Paul Butler's Billboard Project that Jason Mclean so kindly asked me to be a part of. Jason basically asked me what work of art affected me most/earliest.
My response was put up on a billboard on the side of a convenience store on Queen West.
The pic is tuff to read so this what it said:
As a little boy my Grandmother had a box of comics for all of her grandchildren to dig through. I already loved comics but nothing really stuck out until I grabbed an old, coverless copy of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen no. 143 from the box. I still have it to this day. This comic had everything I could ever want as kid: Superman, classic movie monsters like The Wolfman and Dracula, a green, horned planet, and a flying robot dog- all mashed up into a new forward thinking form. This comic book really excited me. I didn’t even know that it was by Jack Kirby until years later. As a teen I went through a short period of growing pains where I rejected the work of Jack Kirby- I’ve talked to a few Kirby fans that went through this phase. As an adult, I would say that he is my single most influential artist for many reasons. This Jimmy Olsen comic book, like all of his 70s work, has his familiar crackle and bubbling energy. Panels burst like they were three-dimensional. It is distinctively his. Every panel is a work of art that connects to other panels on pages that connect to other pages in sequential stylized flow. And he churned out a few comic books a month while reinventing the form every ten years or so. I once had a dream that I met him.
The comic in question is here: