I was in the 6th row of the landmark show, and the art director of Thunder Road magazine, the first Springsteen fan publication, and have now put together a multimedia webinar that recreates the legendary concert in words, images, music and video excerpts from the legendary show itself!
One day in 1933, newspaper publisher Max Gaines (nee Ginzburg) came up with a novel idea: he took some pages of his tabloid-sized Sunday newspaper comics, folded them over twice, and stapled them on the side—creating the comic book as we know it!
That same year, two 18-year-old aspiring newspaper cartoonists from Cleveland, writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, created a character whom they hoped to sell to the very newspaper syndicates who worked with Gaines: Superman! And the rest, as they say, is history!
Thus began the history of comic books and superheroes, largely created by American Jews like Gaines, Siegel and Shuster, for their innovations sparked a 20th Century American pop culture explosion that has only gained in prominence and stature here in the 21st Century!
Join New York Adventure Club and comic book historian Arlen Schumer (author/designer, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art) as we explore the specific Jewish creation of the American superhero and its antecedents in older, ancient myths—from Ben Grimm to the Golem—as well as the significant contributions Jews have made to the medium of comic book art itself.
In advance of my upcoming WEBINAR on “Jews & Comics” via NY Adventure Club on Wednesday, September 16 @ 1:00pm EST (Tix @ nyadventureclub.com), I will be discussing the subject at length with my friend, painter Joel Silverstein, who’s worked comics into his Jewish-themed body of work (joelsilversteinart.com), along with anyone else who calls in (773-897-6114):
“From the Golem to Ben Grimm and more, comic book art historian Arlen Schumer (author/designer, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art) surveys the Jewish influence on the creation and development of the American superhero, its antecedents in ancient, Biblical stories and myths, and the significant contributions Jews have made to the evolution of comic book art in the 20th and 21st Centuries.”
THE SAVAGE STYLE OF JOE KUBERT webinar via NY Adventure Club, Thursday, August 20 @ 1:00pm EST:
JOE KUBERT entered the comic book field in the 1940s as a teenager drawing for DC Comics. His name and style became synonymous with war comics during The Silver Age of Comics (circa 1956-70) because of years of service drawing World War II’s heroic American Sgt. Rock, and then later, the offbeat antihero, World War I German flyer Enemy Ace. Both became signature characters; Kubert’s gritty pen line and bold brushwork perfectly suited writer and partner Bob Kanigher’s emotionally wrenching writing.
In the early ’60s, Kubert maintained continuity with his ’40s roots by returning to Hawkman, a character rendered by many artists since, but given his most definitive treatment by Kubert, despite a brief run of only six issues.
What accounted for Kubert’s lasting popularity and legend-in-his-own-time status? Not too long before he passed away in 2012, Kubert said, ”I happen to love to draw. And I happen to love to draw comic books. I enjoy it as much now, probably more, than I did before.”
THE SILVER AGE OF CARMINE INFANTINO via NY Adventure Club this Wednesday, August 19 @ 12:30pm EST:
If DC Comics was the Cadillac of comic book publishers at the dawn of The Silver Age of Comics (circa 1956-70), then artist Carmine Infantino was their man at the wheel: his slick, streamlined style was the sine qua non of The Silver Age!
His delineation of the first true Silver Age superhero, super-speedster The Flash, and Infantino’s two-dimensional depictions of speed and motion—among many graphic innovations Infantino developed during his eleven-year run on the strip—remain benchmarks in the comic book medium.
Science-fiction landscapes and motifs received Infantino’s signature stylization in his concurrent, memorable run on DC’s interplanetary hero Adam Strange. With his more down-to-earth Batman, whom he redesigned for the 1960s (clearing the runway for the runaway success of the 1966 television series), Infantino earned his place in the pantheon of definitive Batman artists.
“We can feed the stomach with concentrates. We can supply microfilm for reading, recreation, even movies of a sort. We can pump oxygen in, and waste material out. But there’s one thing we can’t simulate, that’s a very basic need: man’s hunger for companionship. The barrier of loneliness. That’s one thing we haven’t licked yet.”
Those are the concluding words of Rod Serling — creator, head writer, narrator, and host of the legendary TV series The Twilight Zone (CBS, 1959-64) — said in the series’ debut episode where an astronaut-in-training hallucinates that he’s totally alone in a deserted American town.
If those words sound uncomfortably close to the quarantining we’re all experiencing now, it’s because Serling (1924-75) was a true visionary, a prescient prophet of the small screen, whose many Twilight Zone episodes dealt with the universal, timeless themes of isolation, loneliness, and solitude.
Join SerlingFest & Twilight Zone scholar Arlen Schumer as we embark on a journey through The Twilight Zone–via image and video excerpts–to see how the greatest television series of the 20th Century sheds a prescient light on the global pandemic of the 21st Century.
THE STRANGE WORLDS OF STEVE DITKO webinar via NY Adventure Club, Wednesday, August 12 @ 3pm EST!
Prior to his co-creation of Spider-man with Marvel Comics’ writer/editor Stan Lee in 1962, Steve Ditko’s artistic milieu mirrored the struggle between good and evil, ugliness and beauty, age and youth, the weak versus the strong. Thus, his groundbreaking depiction of Spider-man went against type by portraying the everyman, the loner, the underdog—i.e., the teenager—as superhero, and hence super- antihero, the Silver Age’s most popular.
With his creation of the super-sorcerer Dr. Strange, Ditko explored the darker worlds of mysticism and the occult. To a generation weaned on American pop culture’s more mundane depictions of reality, a step into the pages of Dr. Strange proved to be a surrealistic journey through the wondrous worlds of Ditko’s artistic imagination, in which form was given to bizarre dimensions and alternate realities that can be seen as precursors to the San Francisco psychedelic rock poster school of the late-‘60s.
THE SEAN CONNERY BOND CANON: THE FIRST FOUR FILMS webinar via NY Adventure Club Wednesday, July 29 @ 8pm EST:
Everyone knows James Bond. Everyone loves James Bond. Everyone loves to debate which are the greatest Bond films, and who is the greatest actor to play Bond. This webinar attempts to resolve both arguments once and for all!
Later this year, the 25th James Bond film will be released, No Time to Die, starring Daniel Craig. Though he and many other great actors have played the iconic 007 role over the decades, the majority of Bond aficionados still consider the first, Sean Connery, to be the definitive James Bond. And of his seven Bond films, the first four—Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (’63), Goldfinger (’64), and Thunderball (’65)—are considered not only his best, but perhaps the best of the entire Bond series.
In addition, the first four Bond films are also watersheds of pop cultural significance, for they’re not only the beginnings of the modern action film genre, but they also act as signifiers of The Sixties themselves, instituting and incorporating so many signs, symbols and scenarios of that most unique decade of the 20th Century.
So whether your Bond bona fides include having seen every film, or a relative Bond newbie who thinks Craig is the best Bond, come join New York Adventure Club and noted pop culture historian Arlen Schumer as he presents a multimedia overview of those first four Connery Bond films, including pertinent clips from each film and behind-the-scenes production stills, advertising, and promotional materials!