Comics Out Of The Closet, by Mike Gold

Mike Gold

ComicMix's award-winning and spectacularly shy editor-in-chief Mike Gold also performs the weekly two-hour Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind ass-kicking rock, blues and blather radio show on The Point, and on iNetRadio, (search: Hit Oldies) every Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, rebroadcast three times during the week – check above for times and on-demand streaming information.

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14 Responses

  1. mike weber says:

    Nice to see a former member of the apa SFPA (of which i'm a current member) getting this kind of attention, though Joe was gone from SFPA's mailings long before i joined…

  2. Rick Taylor says:

    Joe is a great guy who really deserves the recognition!

  3. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    David Hajdu, writer of the Ten-cent Plague, got the feeling from his time spent with Eisner that Will didn't think he, or more speficially comics, got the level of appreciation they truly deserved. This from an interview I did with him…"Will is the most vivid example of not only the greatness of comics, but the belief in the greatness of comics. We spent time right up to his final weeks, and he died still fearing that comics still haven’t been given their due, and still fearing that he hadn’t been given his due. I got an email from his wife, Ann today. And I think she’s now, for all the accolades he got; I don’t think there’s anyone in comics more celebrated than Will Eisner… His conception of the greatness of comics as an art form, was kind of over the recognition that he got. Let me give you an example what I mean by that. He got every award in the comics field; the Eisner Awards are named after him. But he didn’t get any awards outside the comics field. He never got a Kennedy Center Award. There’s never been an artist who got a Kennedy Center Award. It’s only a matter of time, and comics deserve to be shoulder to shoulder with opera singers and pop stars like Bob Dylan, and actors and actresses and choreographers, and all the other artists high and low; comics deserve to be there. If any of them deserve it, Will did. Even he never made it. It shows how far we still have to go, in terms of the general public, mainstream America for giving comics their due."David's got enough interviews with Will that he could likely do a book just about him. He made Will one of the center "characters" of his book partly because he's one of the few creators to literally have been there from moment one till the present day, but also because of his great love and respect for him.

  4. Marc Alan Fishman says:

    When I went to college (Herron School of Art, IUPUI), I told the guidance department that I was there to "major in anything that will allow me to become a comic book creator". They looked me in the eye, and said "Marc, this is a FINE ART school. We don't teach kitch here." It's funny to me how this could still be an opinion held in the modern art world. Comic books (graphic novels, visual story telling, whatever you call it) marry so many challenges of concept and design, it astounds me that it's still considered "children's fare". But, for those of us in the know, it's a private taste that may develop early, but remains true for ever more. Jack Kirby's design sense is unmistakably remarkable. The true stalwarts of comic book design like him, and those creating within the later generations (in my opinion to name a few… Alex Ross, J. G. Jones, Brian Bolland, even Todd McFarlane) all bring the medium to new heights. Whether it's by new media (like painting, full valued pencil, or wholly digital) or retreading of older styles (like Darwyn Cooke) there's such a breadth of aethetics to choose from in the comic universe now… It boggles my mind that it's still such a fringe hobby to the public at large.Here's hoping for more gallery showings Mike. Have you checked your e-mail lately sir?

    • Mike Gold says:

      E-mail? What's that?I stay away from the "fine art" vs. "commercial art" debate. Too many assholes, too little time, not enough energy. As long as these pompous jerks stick their noses way in the air to poo-poo artists like Rockwell, McGinnis, Gibson, Kirby, Eisner, and Krigstein, all I can do is hope these fools drown in the rain.As if Michelangelo painted the big ceiling for free…

      • Marc Alan Fishman says:

        I'm sure he sure didn't paint it for free. But I wonder if his editor was angry when he couldn't turn in his pages for the ceiling in a month. Extension?! But the Bendispope is already on his 18th script of the month!And I tried calling you last week to touch base, but your wife (I believe) said to e-mail you. I'm patient Mr. Gold, but anxious as always.

        • Mike Gold says:

          My wife's patient, too. I've got your phone number; when things lighten up a little bit I'll give you a call.

          • Marc Alan Fishman says:

            Most excellent. I shall bide my time until then. Otherwise, I'm glad some others above agree with me, and we all know it's not an "argument" to us really. Comics are art. Period.

      • MARK WHEATLEY says:

        Yeah – so way back in the late 1970s I majored in "Communication Arts & Design" at Virginia Commonwealth University. Mike Kaluta recommended the school to me. And I did very well there. In my freshman year (before the split into departments) one of my professors had a family disaster that took him away for half the semester. And because of my "work experience", publishing a fanzine, and my high grades I was tapped to teach the class for the time he was out – just to give you an idea how well I was doing. But that did not stop the school from requesting, the following year that I please GET OUT because I kept finding ways to turn every class project into a comic related effort. I was getting top grades. But they felt I was wrong for the department. They felt comics were wrong for the department.So – this FINE ART vs COMMERCIAL ART argument is funny – because comics were not accepted by commercial art any more than they were accepted by fine art.BTW – I did not leave the school – and by my senior year we had a new Dean who was fascinated by comics. He had me do a lecture for the entire department on comics that year – and it got great response.

        • Russ Rogers says:

          Interesting. The Eisner Awards Archives are to Be Housed at VCU! It seems that VCU is now very proud of it's possition as a center for the academic study and preservation of comic art! I wonder what influence Mark Wheatley had on this turnaround! It seems that their collection of comic art began in the late 70s. I certainly think he can take pride in his Alma Mater for what it's doing now.

          • MARK WHEATLEY says:

            VCU has quite a few comics connections. I believe Thomas Inge, who was in the English Department while I was there, was far more influential in getting comics respected at VCU. And other comics pros who attended the school include Kaluta and Charles Vess as well as Steve Hickman. I'm sure there are others. Also – my favorite illustration teacher was Bill Nelson who has some deep roots in PULP.

          • Rick Taylor says:

            During the year I worked in Ricmond as a consultant, one of the art directors I worked with made me aware that VCU has a huge collection of comics in their library. Over the past five years I've been slowly donating/offloading the tons of comics I have from my years in the biz. If they get 'doubles' they share/trade them with other universities that have permanent collections.

  5. R. Maheras says:

    Comics are art, period. Anyone who argues otherwise is either ignorant of the beauty, power and fundamentals of the medium, or they are just a narrow-minded elitist, in my opinion.Almost every classical artist was a commercial artist. The only difference is that instead of working at the behest of some editor, they worked for the church, government, or they did commissions for those wealthy enough to pay them for their work.Rembrandt, for example, painted many, many portraits — not because of some lofty personal artistic aim — but because the merchants, clergymen or bankers paid him big bucks to do so.

  6. Russ Rogers says:

    You are right, comics are finally beginning to get the mainstream and academic recognition they deserve. But this leaves many early comics artists, writers and innovators out of the loop, unrecognized for their contributions to the form. Yes, Kirby and Ditko have recently gotten nice, juicy retrospective books about them. But there will still be too many forgotten heroes.All right, what I'm suggesting is a Comic Book Heroes Hall of Fame. Right now there is a Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in New York and a Cartoon Art Museum (which includes animation) in San Francisco. I suggest one of those places have a PERMANENT exhibition space (a shrine) called the "Hall of Fame," until that exhibition space starts to crowd out the rest of the Museum, when the "Hall of Fame" can then move to Canton or Cleveland or some other unique space of it's own.I spent hours compiling and collating a list of people who should be immediately enshrined in the Hall of Fame. But this comment got too flippin' long. To see that list go to my MySpace blog. Obviously there needs to be some group with the respect and authority to NAME people to the Hall of Fame. As long as we have both Harvey and Eisner Awards, a system where any artist inducted into the Hall of Fame of both awards should gain immediate entrance to the "Physical Hall." I think there might be a way to get fans involved with voting that could raise money for The Hero Initiative and for the Physical Hall of Fame.The "Physical Comics Hall of Fame" will initially need to raise funds. But, hopefully, a place like this will become a draw to tourists and create it's own revenue streams.Easier to build and less expensive to maintain would be a "Virtual Comics Hall of Fame" on the Internet. ComicMix could host it's own "SHRINE to the GREATS"!