Stan FREDOTOP 500 COMMENTATEURS sur 11 août 2014
L'artiste dont il s'agit ayant disparu depuis plus de 30 ans, il n'est pas inutile à l'attention des jeunes générations de rappeler avec l'aide de wikipedia que Wallace Allan Wood (1927-1981) fut un dessinateur, un scénariste, un encreur et un éditeur indépendant de comic books, dont les principaux succès commerciaux ont été son travail pour le magazine "Mad" chez EC Comics (pendant 12 ans) et son intervention décisive pour la définition du personnage de Daredevil chez Marvel Comics.
Mort suicidé à l'âge de 54 ans au moment où son corps le lâchait du fait de son addiction au travail et à certaines substances (tabac, alcool, "you name them"), Wood laisse une oeuvre protéiforme et véritablement inachevée. BD comiques, western, guerre, super-héros, espions, érotisme, science-fiction, horreur, capés etc. il a tout fait, dans un style à la fois très classique au plan graphique (Al Foster et Alex Raymond me paraissent être des références non usurpées), facilement délirant au plan du scénario et globalement reconnaissable entre mille.
En relation avec la "Wallace Wood Properties LLC", qui veille sur le patrimoine artistique de cet auteur de légende, Fantagraphics réédite à nouveau l'intégralité des planches de "Cannon" conçues par WW pour le périodique "Overseas Weekly", destiné de 1950 à 1975 aux militaires américains en mission hors de leur pays.
"Cannon" a été publié de 1970 à 1973, à raison d'une planche 4 bandes, N&B, par semaine.Lire la suite ›
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15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
A spy adventure for adults!29 mars 2014
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Wally Wood created the Cannon spy adventure strip for the Army's Overseas Weekly newspaper. Since people in the army were adults, he could draw a strip containing adult elements (that is to say, naked chicks) and not worry about the censorship that plagued comic books and newspaper comic strips back in the day. So Cannon did things that made James Bond look like a sissy, and was the toughest MF the commies ever ran into (remember, this was done during the cold war years, when the greatest threat America had, was communism). For the first months Woody really outdid himself, as it features some of his best artwork ever. By the end of the strip's run though, Woody relies mostly on paste-up jobs (sometimes of his own work), and very contrasted photocopies of cars and buildings that look like an inked drawing. Towards the end, you can see that his heart wasn't really into it anymore.
The sad thing, for most of us Woody fans, was that to see this particular work you had to be in the army, as there was no other way of seeing it. Luckily for me I lived in France back then, and Woody's work was being reprinted over there thanks to Fershid Bharucha who was a big fan of some American comic book artists (such as Woody, Corben and Berni Wrightson), and published most of their work in Europe (well, at least in France). So I actually knew Cannon and Sally Forth before many other American comic book fans did. That said, when Cannon was finally collected for the first time as a softcover book by Fantagraphics, it was in its original black and white (in France it was colored) and in a rather large size (10,5 x 13').
That was not too long ago, as the book came out in 2001. Now, Fantagraphics announce the book again, as a hardcover this time, and being "the biggest collection of Cannon, ever" (those are Fantagraphics' words, by the way). I don't know what they mean by "biggest", as the strips have the same wide format as the previous book, only this time instead of publishing it as a portrait (or vertical) format consisting of four rows of strips or panels per page (as it appeared in the army newspaper), they've printed each page with only two rows of panels (or cut down each page in half, if you prefer). While this isn't necessarily a problem, if Woody had kept drawing four rows of panels per page, it does present a problem with a particular page, which would be strip number 94 of the original format (and pages 188-89 in this book). For this page, Woody outdid himself and drew a big vertical panel covering three quarters of the left-side of the page. I remember this particular page, because it features a huge drawing of a naked girl talking on the phone. As each page is cut in half, it means that this panel had to be chopped as well, which Fantagraphics does almost unapologetically, offering us instead a stamp-sized image of what the page looked like in it's original format. Call this what you may, but to me it's a form of censorship (though I know they didn't do it for those reasons). The thing is that you should choose a format to publish your book accordingly. What is the purpose of printing the Mona Lisa in a landscape format, if you have to leave out two-thirds of the image because it doesn't quite fit the format? Of course, Fantagraphics is going to say it's only a panel, so who cares? Well I do!
Also included, though printed very small, are the two Cannon stories Woody did for the proposed Heroes Inc comic books which apparently were never sold in newsstands, though I managed to get a copy of the first issue, that I believe was the only of the two issues ever published!
That said, the only reason for buying this book again, for those who like me already had the previous edition, is that the artwork looks much better now. While in the previous book the mid-tones (done with zip-a-tone) came out too dark and muddy looking, they've fixed the problem, and it comes out much clearer. So it's up to you whether you want to buy it again (it's just like those cd's they keep remastering every ten years over and over again).
However, for those who have never heard about Cannon, but have heard of Wally Wood, this book is a must! But be aware that Cannon features lots of naked broads and violent action. In other words, it's not meant for kiddies (though the sex isn't hardcore either). It's a product of its time though, featuring tough men and slutty girls, which pc-minded people might find offensive now, but was hilarious back then.
I knock off a star for what they did to strip 94, as I explained earlier, and for telling us it's the biggest book yet, when in fact it's the same size as before. It's a pity American publishers don't print these books at an even larger size, but Woody's inking is so clean that even at a stamp-size it can be "read" (but that's not an excuse for printing small).
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Wally Wood's "Cannon" hardback- could've been perfect...16 mai 2014
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As most of us know, Wood self-published a 4-volume paperback collection of these strips in the 1970s. Fantagraphics' reprint is actually superior. The blacks are blacker, the paper is better, it's hardback and the overall clarity of Wood's outstanding artwork is superior in this new book. Not to mention, each strip measures 2 7/8" x 9 1/2", as opposed to Wood's original publications' measurements of 2 1/2" x 8 1/2". So it's an absolute 5-star production. EXCEPT... Incredibly, Fantagraphics took it upon themselves to edit one of the best panels, see pgs. 188-189. Diego Cordoba has mentioned it in his review. I almost didn't buy this book because of it, but caved in because the rest of the book is so great. A vertical, 3-panel nude has been edited to fit the horizontal elongated pages of this book, so that only her head appears. Fantagraphics throws us a bone by including a postage-stamp sized repro of the original page. All they had to do was turn the panel sideways. If they were concerned about breaking the "story" sequence (not much of a story- the draw of course is Wood's art), they could've at least included the full panel somewhere in the appendix. This blunder is almost as bad as leaving the last page out of "The Forbidden Room" in the Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 3. Except in this case they're playing it off like they did it intentionally. "For this edition of Cannon we chose to alter the way in which the material was originally presented... where the unavoidable alteration proved more intrusive than we would have liked..." Right. I can't believe they would knowingly do this... I'm inclined to think it was a mistake that somebody caught later, and tried to justify... Why would a publisher knowingly take the best sizable nude in a Wood art book and cut it down to the head only??? Unless somebody forgot that it was there?? Maybe they chose the format before they realized that there was a 3-panel-tall vertical nude included in the mix. Even so, all they had to do was turn the panel sideways and include it on the next page, or at the very least include it in the back of the book. Come on, Fantagraphics! I would've given the book 3 stars, but the slightly oversized strips and nice printing bump it up to a begrudging 4.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Another great Fantagraphics book!20 mars 2014
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Fantagraphics gives us another great book to add to the collection. This beautiful hardcover edition of Wally Woods' Cannon strips is as eye-popping as all the beautiful ladies and action/adventure you'll find inside. The paper is a thick stock with the nice, sewn-binding you'd expect in a collector's edition or high-end comic strip collection.
Woods' art look great in this edition and is an example of his amazing skills as an artist. Extras include an introduction by Howard Cheykin and some comic strips he collaborated with Steve Ditko on. The excellent build quality and low $35 pricetag has me wondering why DC and especially Marvel charge so much for many of their collected editions.
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James Bond, As Directed by Russ Meyer!26 mars 2014
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I'll just say this up front -- this isn't a thinking man's comic. In fact, the lead character's name of Cannon is perfect, because that's about how subtle this strip is.
The stories and characters are fairly straight-ahead and simple, the type of fare you'd see in any classic action film from the late 70s through the early 90s. Cannon is the kind of character that Chuck Norris or Arnold Schwarzenegger would have felt at home playing. In fact, he makes Conan the Barbarian seem thoughtful and introspective by comparison. The strip reads like a James Bond movie directed by Russ Meyer, turned up to eleven -- tons of two-fisted action and fully nude women on nearly every other page that would probably get a 007 picture a NC-17 rating.
But as I read through this hefty volume, it seems to be part of the nutty charm of this series. The creators present the material in an unapologetic, mature-of-fact manner, without a hint of self-aware shame in the over-the-top exploitative nature of the strip. It's almost as if they decided to distill the basest, most primal appeal of the classic pulp adventure strips into comic strip form -- the audience wants sex and violence, so let's give them that in spades.
Still, the work stops short of being pornographic (in my opinion -- I'm sure more socially conservative or religious folks may disagree). Nudity and the before and after moments of sex are the limit -- we don't actually see genitals or intercourse taking place, thankfully. And while the violence is swift, brutal and plentiful, we don't see blood, guts, or gore -- it's about as graphic as something like Rambo II.
That all said, there is one aspect of this strip I find distasteful and that is the numerous allusions to rape. Whenever a woman is caught alone by a bad guy or group of bad guys, they immediately tear her clothes off. While no rapes are actually depicted, it's hard to assume otherwise. Particularly objectionable is one scene where a woman recounts being taken as a sex slave by a company of French soldiers -- the dialogue implies that she secretly enjoyed it. These scenes are uncomfortable and in poor taste, obviously.
And in any case, we know the reason we're all here anyway -- and it's the masterful art of Wally Wood. Drawn by any number of other cartoonists and this work would likely be forgotten altogether. His work on this strip is excellent overall, though the quality seems to cary from strip to strip. Sometimes the art reaches the gorgeous heights of the work found in his Wally Wood's EC Stories: Artist's Edition volume and at other times, it's merely excellent instead of mind-blowing.
So bottom-line -- if you're here for the Wally Wood artwork, you won't be disappointed. This is a wonderful volume with great printing and very slick production design. And if you're here for over-the-top pulp action with loads of sex appeal, this hits the mark. However, if you're looking for thoughtful spy fiction with elaborate stories and deep characterization, I'm afraid this might leave you cold.
Still, for what it is, I can't imagine anyone doing something like this much better.
If you love Wally Wood, you'll love this book11 septembre 2014
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Take the breathtaking brush work of Wally Wood, add lots of sex and violence, and you get Cannon. Sure, the plots and dialogue run from poor to ludicrous, but man ... if I'd seen this when I was a teenager, I'd have lost my mind. Because what does a teenage boy want to see but naked women, and no one drew a more lovely form than Wood -- and the women in this book find no end of excuses to lose their clothes, often starting out wearing little to begin with. One interesting aspect was the ample evidence of Wood living up to the startlingly hackneyed advice he gave other illustrators of never drawing what you can trace, never tracing what you can paste up. Wood demonstrates this time and again throughout Cannon, to a level I'd never seen nor imagined, and the degree to which he cannibalizes his own work is both fascinating and disappointing. That said, no one wielded a brush more beautifully than Wally Wood and this book serves up 187 glorious pages of his work reproduced at a size that allows all the details to shine.