« Home | The French fairy tale influences of Walt Disney » | Jason Aaron and Jesus Saiz's redesign of Punisher'... » | Dark Horse bought out by Swedish video game producer » | What some sham reviewers think are the "best" of 2021 » | Dark Knights of Steel puts alternate version of Wo... » | A laughable column at a college paper » | Artist of Bitter Root based its inception on polit... » | New Republic reviews Jeremy Dauber's American Comi... » | Once again, a mainstream news site promotes invest... » | "Captain Carter" gets own book » 

Saturday, December 25, 2021 

Mike Zeck artwork on display at Ringling College

The Sarasota Herald Tribune covered an exhibition of veteran artist Mike Zeck's work being displayed at Ringling College, and it indicates he was doing it for the pleasure of the readers, and to impress upon them:
Zeck, a 1967 Ringling grad, is the star of this show. Curator Tim Jaeger unfolds his work chronologically – from his early illustrations for Charlton Comics, to his superstar creations for DC and Marvel. The result is a portrait of a comic book artist. And his legacy as a visual storyteller. That’s exactly what Zeck is.

Because comic book art is all about the story.
It definitely should be. And Zeck did a great job in his day. But there are flaws in this article too, which detract from the sincerity (and today, it's anything but about the story, and more about identity politics, something this piece won't address):
Like film, short stories and spooky campfire tales, it’s a narrative medium. The key difference? Comic book artists have no limitations. They can fill up the blank page with anything imaginable. Monsters, gods, superheroes, cyborgs, lost worlds? It’s all good – with no budget cap. Visual storytellers like Zeck enjoy infinite possibilities. And just a few inviolate rules.

Rule 1: ‘Your story means nothing if nobody reads it.’

Why do people read novels and short stories? To quote John Irving, “to find out what happens next.” Fanboys (and girls) flip the pages of their comic books for the same reason. What glues their eyeballs to the page? A powerful story. And Zeck delivers.

He knows his inky creations aren’t art for art’s sake. It’s art for the sake of storytelling. Each panel teases you to look at the next panel. Which teases you to read the one after that. What happens next?

Check out our next issue to find out!

Zeck’s art is static. But it feels like a movie. His dynamic eyelines and compositions pull you in. His work feels alive. And there’s magic in that.
But what's this about his work being static, yet feeling like a movie? Isn't the former making it sound like his art was mediocre, which was NOT the case? And if he'd made it all look like movies, then as Sean Howe once said, that's a surefire way to screw up. I never thought Zeck's art looked like movies in every sense, just adventure scenes typical of a comic. To say it was static conflicts with the acknowledgement his art felt alive and magical. Didn't that occur to the sloppy columnist? Who goes on to say one more suspicious thing:
Zeck’s imagination didn’t spawn Captain America, G.I. Joe, and The Punisher. He still had to put them on the page. That’s a heavy responsibility. Fans love these characters. Give their heroes a silly makeover, and they’ll attack. But if you don’t find an original take, they’ll be bored to tears. Zeck always does. He makes other artists’ characters his own. And that makes them interesting. G.I. Joe is not my cup of tea, folks. But damned if he doesn’t look cool on Zeck’s boards.
Hmm, I wonder why not? Because in better days, it was touted as "A Real American Hero", a catchphrase unacceptable among today's leftists? If he's got a negative view of GI Joe, that's not cool. But at least he has the audacity at the end to say:
“Yeah, it’s true,” says Jaeger. “We all love this stuff – I’ll freely admit it. And we wanted to create a family-friendly exhibition with multiple doorways leading in. Comic book aficionados will love Zeck’s work. Art historians can sink their teeth into it. Cartoonists can steal Zeck’s techniques. Boomers who grew up with these comics can go back in time. And an 8-year-old Batman fan can love seeing Zeck’s work right now. We’re all fans, too – and that’s what we tried to express here.”

I’d say they succeeded.
I'm sure they have, but hope they didn't take any PC routes in setting up the exhibits for display. And what they say here about the story becoming meaningless if nobody's reading it is something perfectly describing speculator purchasers, who only care about slabbing the back issues in a quixotic hope they'll becoming whopping rich from increasing value someday. So I hope the writer at the newspaper realizes what a disaster monetary collectors have been for the reputation of the medium, turning it effectively into a joke nobody in the MSM actually wants to complain about. Why, do they even care about all the degradation the Punisher's been through these past years at the hands of PC, after all the hard work Zeck did as one of Frank Castle's artists years before? Guess that never occurred to them either.

I think it's great Zeck's getting this exhibition where everybody can admire his art. But maybe some news reporters will want to lament how successive generations of artists and writers have done his past efforts a disfavor with all their political correctness that's taking away from the impact of the older stories. Alas, no chance they'll be willing to do it.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
My profile



  • avigreen2002@yahoo.com
  • Fansites I Created

  • Hawkfan
  • The Greatest Thing on Earth!
  • The Outer Observatory
  • Earth's Mightiest Heroines
  • The Co-Stars Primer
  • Realtime Website Traffic

    Comic book websites (open menu)

    Comic book weblogs (open menu)

    Writers and Artists (open menu)

    Video commentators (open menu)

    Miscellanous links (open menu)

  • W3 Counter stats
  • Bio Link page
  • blog directory Bloggeries Blog Directory View My Stats Blog Directory & Search engine eXTReMe Tracker Locations of visitors to this page  
    Flag Counter

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

    make money online blogger templates

Older Posts Newer Posts

The Four Color Media Monitor is powered by Blogspot and Gecko & Fly.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.
Join the Google Adsense program and learn how to make money online.