Will Elder: |
The Mad Playboy of Art
by Will Elder
This comprehensive sampling of the work of zany master cartoonist Will Elder is simply magnificent. It is so because of the size, format and quality of reproduction of this 391-page trade paperback that reprints this artist's groundbreaking and influential work from the early 1930s to the present. A extensive biographical essay and the inclusion of "paintings, portraits, still lifes, caricatures, and sketches," certainly recommend the volume as well. But this retrospective is simply magnificent for one primary reason. There is no cartoonist, living or dead, better than wacky Will Elder.
Whoa, there, Nellie. Gushing a bit?
So, what distinguishes a great cartoonist from a competent one? Including a grasp of artistic technique and visual storytelling, there is:
1) Versatility: Elder mastered any style required by its subject, from "big-foot" cartooning to abstract painting to photographic realism.
The Mad Playboy of Art receives the highest recommendation for adult readers (because of nudity) in my 17-year history of reviewing comics.
by Michael Vance