Comics & Stories #1
by Dan Zettwoch
36 pages; 5 1/2" x 7"; B & W interior w/ 3-color silk-screened cover on heavy cover-stock
The first issue of Redbird shows that Dan Zettwoch is probably too smart for his own good. He is a skilled practitioner of the comic book form, who possesses an understanding of its many aspects: those that are abstract -- the elements of conception -- as well as those that are concrete -- the elements of production.
"Still Life," the twenty-page lead story which takes up the bulk of the book, at first glance appears to be a catalogue of crude humor that was delineated with difficulty; and it is -- but only on the surface. To understand and appreciate what Zettwoch has unleashed here, closer examination is required. Once this extra investment of time and attention is made, the payoff is immediate. Right from the start -- with the visual pun of literally embodying the "table of contents" -- it becomes apparent that a sophisticated creativity is at work. Intellectual and visual syntheses are everywhere. Juxtaposition and montage provide an extra layer of meaning that is superimposed upon and yet still manages to combine and interact with the darkly satiric central narrative of the relationship of art to society in America today.
We feel compelled to note, however, that this may not be the comic book for you: it's definitely a bit on the "guy" side; it's filled with cultural references that not everyone will appreciate; and some of the humor is sophomoric. Yet it is clearly a finely crafted labor of love that will provide returns well in excess of the meager investment required to purchase it to those readers who are willing to make the effort to tune in to the signal from which this comic book is broadcasting.
Dan Zettwoch has an intuitive grasp of the innate idea of the comic book as an objective realization of the uniquely American character of mind that has been brought into being by the century long free reign of mass production driven market forces. In Redbird he has consummately constituted his highly idiosyncratic vision.
copacetic price - sorry, out of print (let's hope it 's reprinted!)
prices and availability current as of 25 November 2006