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Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries, 1900-1969

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In five thematic sections, this anthology is a counter history of comics, containing nearly 30 undiscovered visionary American cartoonists from 1900-1969. These artists, including Harry Grant Dart, Milt Gross, Charles M. Payne, Harry Hershfield and Charles Forbell, foreshadowed and influenced the comics medium of today.


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In five thematic sections, this anthology is a counter history of comics, containing nearly 30 undiscovered visionary American cartoonists from 1900-1969. These artists, including Harry Grant Dart, Milt Gross, Charles M. Payne, Harry Hershfield and Charles Forbell, foreshadowed and influenced the comics medium of today.

30 review for Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries, 1900-1969

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tone

    What might have been an interesting insight into comics past is harmed by the poor reproduction on some of the older reprints are so highly reduced that the text is unreadable.

  2. 4 out of 5

    B

    Most of these are simply not interesting to read. This is especially true when many of the comics are not printed so that the writing is reasonable. Also some of the art is designed in a way so that the writing is hard to read even when zoomed in. But a couple are real gems. . . . In particular, "Herbie." Wow, I would like to read more of that. Not that my only problem is with the design of the comics . . . It's also not really clear why these comics are bound together and organized this way. Maybe Most of these are simply not interesting to read. This is especially true when many of the comics are not printed so that the writing is reasonable. Also some of the art is designed in a way so that the writing is hard to read even when zoomed in. But a couple are real gems. . . . In particular, "Herbie." Wow, I would like to read more of that. Not that my only problem is with the design of the comics . . . It's also not really clear why these comics are bound together and organized this way. Maybe next time only the good stuff?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Steven Shane

    Usually, I am exposed to the past in prose. It is tremendous to have a new way to travel back to the past. Also, visually delightful. Also, horrible racist stereotypes. Tangentially, I like tiny type. Finally, how much better would this book and everything be if Native, Asian and African Americans had been able to fully express themselves in the culture. Let's now boost all the beneficial details of the variety of people's expressions! Usually, I am exposed to the past in prose. It is tremendous to have a new way to travel back to the past. Also, visually delightful. Also, horrible racist stereotypes. Tangentially, I like tiny type. Finally, how much better would this book and everything be if Native, Asian and African Americans had been able to fully express themselves in the culture. Let's now boost all the beneficial details of the variety of people's expressions!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Greg Harrison

    Some of the criticisms in the other reviews are definitely valid: the quality varies, the organization was a little confusing, and some of the strips really would have benefited from a larger format (I had to purchase a magnifying glass). That said I’ll be forever in this book’s debt for turning me on to Fletcher Hanks.

  5. 4 out of 5

    kimberly

    descriptors: amazing. boring. racist. insane. gorgeous. poorly reproduced. incredible. pretty much spans the gamut.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I love seeing the beginnings of comics, considering what the graphic novel has become today. The artwork was inspiring and fun. Too bad there weren't any women artists included. I love seeing the beginnings of comics, considering what the graphic novel has become today. The artwork was inspiring and fun. Too bad there weren't any women artists included.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rex Hurst

    This is indeed a collection of great material from unknown artists from the past. Some are nearly forgotten, most of their work lost except for a handful of pages, others have been re-discovered recently. Often these were regional comic strips from lesser known papers, rarely distributed by any of the cartoon syndicates, but still exceptional in their own way. The book is broken into several sections focusing on commonalities in expression rather than chronology. Exercises in Exploration where i This is indeed a collection of great material from unknown artists from the past. Some are nearly forgotten, most of their work lost except for a handful of pages, others have been re-discovered recently. Often these were regional comic strips from lesser known papers, rarely distributed by any of the cartoon syndicates, but still exceptional in their own way. The book is broken into several sections focusing on commonalities in expression rather than chronology. Exercises in Exploration where it seems the author is playing with form and function in the comic medium. Slapstick - the great use of physical humor in a static medium - the art transcending its frames. Acts of Drawing - where the expressionism of the art supersedes other parts of the narrative. Words in Drawing - Where the plot comes out leaps and bounds above the art. Finally ending with Form and Style where the sheer graphic inventiveness of the strip is celebrated. While this is a great book in many ways, there are a few niggling detractions. Part of the problem is that several of the illustrators in this book have been “rediscovered” in recent history. The whole comic-ology of both Fletcher Hanks - head of the superhero so-bad-its-good department - and Ogden Whitney - with his immortal Herbie, the Fat Fury comic - have been reprinted over the last ten years. The same is true of much of Milt Gross. So some of these weren’t new to me. Most were, however. The largest problem, and one noted by many besides myself, was that often the material was difficult to read. Many of these were printed originally in old time papers and given a full length newspaper page to develop. In order to reprint them, they had to be shrunk down to the books size - which in itself is not small, but still not big enough for a full reprint. This is about a third of the book. And while you can admire the art in these parts, reading them is a chore. But what there is here is a unique collection of material.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chloe A-L

    This book is super interesting, but has quite a few structural issues. Many of the strips are printed egregiously small, so the text end up TINY. It’s unclear why some strips got as much room as they did vs others, in the biographies at the end it states a few times that what’s reprinted is the totality of what’s been found and preserved, but several strips that don’t have that note get a big chunk of pages and some truly fantastic strips I wanted to read more of only get a few. My biggest compla This book is super interesting, but has quite a few structural issues. Many of the strips are printed egregiously small, so the text end up TINY. It’s unclear why some strips got as much room as they did vs others, in the biographies at the end it states a few times that what’s reprinted is the totality of what’s been found and preserved, but several strips that don’t have that note get a big chunk of pages and some truly fantastic strips I wanted to read more of only get a few. My biggest complaint is that the author is entirely too comfortable with publishing a book of all-male cartoonists. He says in the introduction that it’s a reflection of the mostly-male publishing environment of the time period, but most doesn’t mean all. Especially a book about FORGOTTEN AND OVERLOOKED cartoonists should absolutely have female artists. That feels so on theme that the author should be ashamed of not bothering to include any women.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Todd Glaeser

    I'm surprised by the title "Visionaries" used in the title. Most of the artwork in this book is derivative of the more well known, acknowledged masters, of the field. There are a handful of original strips, but the reproduction is typically too small to enjoy. I was disappointed. I'm surprised by the title "Visionaries" used in the title. Most of the artwork in this book is derivative of the more well known, acknowledged masters, of the field. There are a handful of original strips, but the reproduction is typically too small to enjoy. I was disappointed.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gustav Gerät

    very good book, I like it

  11. 4 out of 5

    Troy

    An amazing collection of odd and forgotten comics - comics and comic book creators that should be household names (at least to those who are interested in comics). Two of the comics in here now thankfully have their own books: Fletcher Hanks: I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets and Rory Hayes: Where Demented Wented, but there's enough here for ten more books, all of which are worth your time if you love great (and in this case, pretty unusual) comics. An amazing collection of odd and forgotten comics - comics and comic book creators that should be household names (at least to those who are interested in comics). Two of the comics in here now thankfully have their own books: Fletcher Hanks: I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets and Rory Hayes: Where Demented Wented, but there's enough here for ten more books, all of which are worth your time if you love great (and in this case, pretty unusual) comics.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    A must have for all comic book historians and buffs, Art Out of Time: Unknown Comic Visionaries, 1900-1969 by Dan Nadel reprints cartoons and comics from forgotten artists. The book includes samples from the great Dick Briefer, Bob Powell, Ogden Whitney, and others. This incredible survey of previously lost art sits in its rightful place on my shelf beside the excellent A Smithsonian Book of Comic-Book Comics. A must have for all comic book historians and buffs, Art Out of Time: Unknown Comic Visionaries, 1900-1969 by Dan Nadel reprints cartoons and comics from forgotten artists. The book includes samples from the great Dick Briefer, Bob Powell, Ogden Whitney, and others. This incredible survey of previously lost art sits in its rightful place on my shelf beside the excellent A Smithsonian Book of Comic-Book Comics.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Peacegal

    This is a motley collection of comics whose memories have been lost to the sands of time. With so many artists, the results of course will vary in quality and interest. I personally liked “Little Lady Lovekins & Old Man Muffaroo,” an unusual, topsy-turvy comic that must be read both upside-down and right side-up to get the full story. My only complaint is that some of the reprints of the comics were so small they were difficult to read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    Oh man. This book is overdue to the library but I just can't let it go quite yet. The book contains rare and in many cases previously unseen comics artwork from the first half of the 20th century. I'm already an enormous fan of Herbie, Slim Jim and White Boy. This may be the best book I read all year and it's only February. Oh man. This book is overdue to the library but I just can't let it go quite yet. The book contains rare and in many cases previously unseen comics artwork from the first half of the 20th century. I'm already an enormous fan of Herbie, Slim Jim and White Boy. This may be the best book I read all year and it's only February.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Leonard Pierce

    Fantastic review of forgotten artists of the pre-modern era of comics by Dan Nadel. Despite the high-quality glossy paper, some of the detail's hard to make out, and there could be more biographical information to break up the pages, but those are small quibbles for what is one of the best collections of rare comics I've ever seen. Fantastic review of forgotten artists of the pre-modern era of comics by Dan Nadel. Despite the high-quality glossy paper, some of the detail's hard to make out, and there could be more biographical information to break up the pages, but those are small quibbles for what is one of the best collections of rare comics I've ever seen.

  16. 4 out of 5

    William

    A fantastic collection of nearly forgotten comics artists who were far ahead their time. Some of the most original ideas, fantastic designs, and sometimes downright bizarre situations in 20th century comics.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

    This is the most exciting comics anthology I've ever seen. I typically make it about three panels in before an overwhelming, ecstatic druggy feeling forces me to put the book down. I could happily repeat this ritual every day forever. This is the most exciting comics anthology I've ever seen. I typically make it about three panels in before an overwhelming, ecstatic druggy feeling forces me to put the book down. I could happily repeat this ritual every day forever.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kenny

    A great primer on (mostly) forgotten freaks and geniuses who were pushing the boundaries of the medium long before anyone even knew what those boundaries were

  19. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Scrubbles.net book review, January 26, 2008 - http://www.scrubbles.net/2008/01/26/book-review-art-out-of-time/ Scrubbles.net book review, January 26, 2008 - http://www.scrubbles.net/2008/01/26/book-review-art-out-of-time/

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    741.5 A7848 2006

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book is amazing. I need to check it back out from the library in order to finish it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Essential

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bob Shaffer

    A must read for those interested in the obscured history of cartooning. This is art that has otherwise disappeared, despite inspiring generations of sub/counter culture artists.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amelia Halverson

    saw this at the library today, had to check it out, I love the T.E. Powers stuff. I can't put this book down! saw this at the library today, had to check it out, I love the T.E. Powers stuff. I can't put this book down!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Regis Philbert

  26. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    Love that Wigglemuch!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nick Pierce

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  30. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

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