Friday, April 02, 2010

Will we finally get a new Red Tide?

Neil comments on my long ago post on Steranko's Red Tide that the originals were recently exhibited in the Geppi Museum, and that a new version might finally be in the works.

That is good news indeed.

i know that Mike Richardson of Dark Horse was talking about a new version as long ago as 1999, and that, somehow, nothing ever came of it. So it would be something if it were to finally happen.

For one thing, I could finally replace these crappy scans with crisp new scan of Steranko artwork properly colored and separated. Hopefully without breaking the spine of my new book.

This is Steranko at his game changing best folks. This will be a revelation to people if given the same treatment that Dave Steven's Rocketeer was just given. In the era where it was finally time for someone to step and take the next step after Jack Kirby at his 1966 heights, not one but two people came up: Neal Adams and Jim Steranko. The two of them came at the work from different approaches and, like rock and roll in the post-Beatles era, divided all who came after them. Neal, with his highly illustrative approach, took Batman into a new level of iconography by going the opposite of Kane: his Batman, and Green Lanterns, were populated by real people, with clothing that folded realistically over forearms containing arm hear and fingernails that needed to be trimmed. Steranko took Nick Fury to new heights of symbolism, bringing in pop art influences and different production techniques, but more inportantly, taking the vocabulary of comics to a further extreme than Jack did. If jack's Captain America leap with his feet 6 feet apart, Steranko's Captain America was almost 12 heads tall and had his feet 8 feet apart. All while defeating the hordes of Hydra while a jet black dyed Madame Hydra gesticulated hypnotically in the overlay.

Yes, Chandler was Steranko reigned in, but in service of the story, and adapting his prodigious talents to the form that he himself set up: 8 lines of text broken to under two panels per page.

A Big Little book for adults.

Haiku detective fiction.

And unlike other artist whose blank canvas projects stare back and defeated many an artist, Jim had a work ethic and brought his storytelling talents to bare and nailed the book. Even for a conservative 1976 audience.

Hopefully he will restore the text to the original form that had been intended before, as i understand it, moderate censoring by original publisher Byron Preiss.

More info as we go...


Tony said...

My understanding is that the "new" version will really be the 1976 version in a size somewhere between the digest version and the trade paperback.

inkdestroyedmybrush said...

that would be fine if they rescan the pencils, recolor the artwork with today's sensitivity and print it on really good paper.

And jim can decide to change the text or not. He has hinted in interviews before that the content was toned down for the 1976 sensibility.

And, geez, print the damn thing larger. the work would stand up to a larger size.

Michael Wurl said...

This is great news!
I will be looking for this one.
Steranko was and is the ultimate master of noir style in graphics.

Who had the first 'graphic novel'?
Was it Kane's BLACKMARK?
Was it Eisner's A CONTRACT WITH GOD?
Or was it Steranko's RED TIDE?
I suppose it depends on who you talk to...

inkdestroyedmybrush said...

"His name is... savage" perhaps. All of the above are possibilities, and all of them depend on how slavish your definition of "graphic novel" is. It must have been two years ago when the blog-o-sphere was constantly talking and discussing a better term than "graphic novel". Someone could make the case that red tide wasn't a graphic novel because the text and art aren't integrated. That would be missing hte forest for the trees. Chronologically, Contract is the latest, Red Tide earlier, Blackmark and His name is... savage even earlier. it would be hard to go to anything i can think of prior to that.