Sunday, June 12, 2011

All The World Is A Stage

Sunday Meskin Measure.

In this installment of Mort Meskin's Vigilante there are some nice group and actions scenes. In the sparser drawn second half he fills the lack of background with a literal spotlight n the floor. Where it comes from no one knows, turning Mort Meskin's superheroics into some sort of ballet or opera.


Smurfswacker said...

After reading a lot of these stories, I'm intrigued the themes that run from one story to another.

First, it's surprising how fairly Stuff, the Chinatown Kid, is treated. With practically every other non-Anglo Golden Age character presented as a caricature, Stuff is a refreshingly ordinary kid. Though Charlie Chan's Number One Son was also a modern assimilated American, he tended to overdo the hep lingo. Stuff is simply a kid. I like that. Even though nobody notices that he chums around with both of The Vigilante's personae.

On the other hands the stories are so plot-driven that they rely excessively on gimmicks. Sometimes (like in this story) the author strains mightily to set up the gimmick so the payoff will work. The result seems even more fake than the unplanned-mess stories like Fiction House ran.

DC seems to have subscribed to the common notion that crooks never reform. Even Dick Tracy had a few honest ex-cons. They also clung tightly to the formula that all crooks said "dem dese dose." Other companies' writers used this schtick too, of course, but in these stories it seems almost a fetish.

Finally, what is it with Vigilante's hat, anyway? It has to be a minimum of a yard long shots it sometimes grows to five or six feet! He should be able to fly with it.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

At least the flares on his trousers grow with them! That would help him stay steady in the air.

I don't know if anyon ehas even noticed or written about Meskin's use of set pieces or images. What I mean is, I think the grwoing hat, the way the crooks look the same from story to story, the standard sockos, the circles on the floor... all this is part of a repetoir of images, which form what I called an operatich quality to his work. What we get is nog a representation of reality, but a series of symbols that represent moments in the story. This goes through all his work, including the man in the porkpie hat who seems to be the heroe of all his stories in the fifties.