A CELEBRATION OF COMIC ART AND MEMORABILIA by Robert Lesser

A CELEBRATION OF COMIC ART AND MEMORABILIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

ZAP! Fifty years of golden comics, from Little Nemo through Flash Gordon, with 45 color plates and 300 black-and-white photos: wind-up toys, Disney spin-offs, radio's Little Orphan Annie and Captain Midnight decoder rings (the secret messages broadcast on the air tended to be insipidly patriotic), hundreds of give-away items (send in your box tops), Superman statues, a Buck Rogers' Disintegrator Pistol, his pencil boxes and rubber-stamp set, plus pulp magazine covers (The Spider, Doe Savage, G-8 and His Battle Aces, etc.) all in blazing offs, and other samples of surreal industrial design and imaginative trivia for kids--all told a titanic nostalgia trip. Lesser agrees with Claes Oldenburg: ""I am for an art that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum."" Buck Rogers spawned the vastest array of futuristic fantasy equipment, all of it influenced by Art Nouveau and Art Deco motifs. The rocket pistol first produced in 1934 went through a dozen designs until, in 1948, it became the U-238 Atomic Pistol. All this is what Lesser calls LMC, or Lower Middle Class art, and he defends the Mickey Mouse watch, comic bubble gum cards, decoder rings and so on as works of serious merit and makes a smashing case for the best of them. Indeed, he discusses the fine points of design in each category of collectibles so carefully that he may well give new weight to this essentially American art form. Aimed at collectors rather than scholars who will be aroused by Mongo, the 25th Century and the ""Yellow Peril.

Pub Date: June 13th, 1975
Publisher: Hawthorn