Friday, June 27, 2014

Pop Culture Roundup: Jack Kirby play! Dick Tracy finds Annie! Simonson returns to Thor! Andy Warhol album covers!

The New York Times has a thumbs-up review for a new off-Broadway show about comics artists Jack Kirby.
In closest focus are Kirby’s knotty dealings at Marvel in the 1960s and ‘70s with Lee, who was then Kirby’s boss. (Nat Cassidy, in a sly impersonation, presents a tireless news media self-promoter.) With Lee, Kirby created a revolution in the field; Kirby visualized numerous characters now ubiquitous in movies, television and licensing. In the play, Lee — nephew of Marvel’s publisher, Martin Goodman (Mr. Reynolds again, embodying icy, ruthless capitalism) — parrots the company line, denying Kirby’s request for royalties, rights to characters, and even the vast majority of his penciled originals. Lee is a celebrity, while the humble Kirby, Marvel’s golden goose, is paid merely by the drawn page. “Why does everyone worship the bosses?” Kirby cries, defeated.
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Little Orphan Annie went missing from the comics pages back in 2010. Now Dick Tracy is looking for her.
 The case for the detective, also part of Tribune, began on June 1 and will last through the end of September. The long story line is worthy of the two characters and their historic meeting, said the writer Mike Curtis, who works on the strip with the illustrator Joe Staton. “This kind of thing never happened back in the day,” he said, despite the fact that the characters’ creators, Harold Gray (Annie, in 1924) and Chester Gould (Dick Tracy, in 1931), were friends and enjoyed each other’s work. Dick and Annie will meet very soon, Mr. Curtis said, and he promises more surprises ahead, including a change in art style once Annie arrives.
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Cartoonist Walt Simonson is returning to Thor, but not the Marvel Comics version.
In "Ragnarök," the award-winning writer/artist tells his own version of the Norse apocalypse, one where Thor sits out the final battle with the Midgard Serpent, allowing the dark gods to destroy Asgard and take over the nine worlds -- until the God of Thunder returns. 
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There's more to Andy Warhol album cover art than bananas and the Velvet Underground. The Vinyl Factor counts down the artist's Top 25 LP covers here.


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