ITEM! Okay hysterical historians and lubricious librarians, it’s time to go get your swingin’ library cards validated so that you can go see the original art to Amazing Fantasy #15 up close and personal! 'Course, you’re also gonna need to take a little drive to Washington D.C... but every true-blooded American should do that at least once in their patriotic lives anyway. Cap would be proud!
It brings a tear to my eye to see the scans and pics already put online by some of the library staff. That one lady reminds me of Sol Brodsky, and not because there’s too little of her to love, if you know what I mean. But it really takes me back down nostalgia road, only bigger and better than it ever was. Back in 1963, we were just trying to get the damn books out the door and keep our jobs. Few were the times we ever slowed down enough to sit down and really appreciate the precious paneled pen-and-inked wonders that Kirby and Ditko were delivering to us on an almost daily basis. Just look at the scan above. Gaze in wonderment at the details of Sturdy Steve’s delicate pen lines that were later mostly mauled by the crude mechanical reproduction processes of the day. The wonder! The majesty!
I often wonder what we could do with Stevey’s art in these days of computers and lasers and photoshops. I wondered until Irving Forbush showed me. I gotta say, as much as I love the over-complicated pen lines of these modern comic book artists (heck, Marvel pays me to like ‘em, so why not?), there’s some real artistry going on in Ditko’s simple strokes and design... an artistry that’s all but gone from today’s comics.
Anyways, before I get too mawkishly maudlin, here’s one of those linky things that’ll take you to an officially unoffical Library of Congress librarian’s own boisterous blog. You can read all about when, where and how you can go see these twice-up treasures for yourselves. That’s your tax dollars at work, pilgrims!