Showing posts with label PS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PS. Show all posts

Friday, December 11, 2009

Clean or be cleaned

Saturday Leftover Day.

More Kubert. This time not something I have scaned in myself, but a couple of woderfull pieces I pulled from the full PDF's that can be found at this adress:

https://www.logsa.army.mil/psmag/psonline.cfm

It's the downloadable files of PS magazine, a free monthly magazine that is distributed to all military personel to help them stay alert about the maintaenance on their weapons and vehicles. PS started in the early fifties by Will Eisner and the preventive maintenance branche of the military. Eisner had already done similar work in WW II, when he was on staff (and main editor) at Army Motors. Maintenance is a very important part of the army. If it is done regulary and in the right way, lives can be saved. But getting the soldiers to do it, is another matter. Instead of forcing them or teaching them with dull material, the army has always used instructional movies. Using a comic book approach and a comic book artist was a natural move. Eisner built a whole company around the assignment, which he took for more than 25 years. Others have taken this on, but the last ten years Kubert has taken the assigment, nomally using the students of his Comic Art School, although I cannot for the life of me see where Kubert's work begins and that of others ends. It seems to me as if he is doing the whole thing by himself, frankly.

The great thing about these is the fact that Kubert and his associates do so many genre parodies. They have done westerns, civil war stories, science fiction, at least one jungle stories, bible tales, christmas stories, , a Harry Potter parody... and often Kubert refers to or makes use of thing he has done through the years in his comic book work, such as the atmospheric Sherlock Holmes parody I'll show later. And how about this Planet if the Apes parody, where a very familiar looking space adventurer runs crashes on a... well, look for yourself.

From PS 606:










Here's another one, especially for my friend Mike Lynch, from PS 593 in 2002...













Frankly, I find Kubert's incarnation of the magazine even better than Eisner's. While Eisner should be credited with inventing the whole genre, he was always looking for ways to not make it look like comic book stories. As Paul Fitzgerald pointed out in his recent book on the history of PS, Eisner came up with new techniques of giving out information, that very much influenced his later comic book work (like dropping the panel borders) and a such his run of PS is very interesting. But Kubert brings his comic book influences to the table without shame or reluctance, resulting in a series of terrific genre parodies, such as this Sherlock Holmes piece from PS 647...



And even though the last few years the stories seem to have become slightly duller with less use of Kubert's knowledge of genre, it is still as beautifully done as ever and there are gems like this satire of tv's 24, complete with a caricature of Jack Bauer in this year's PS 681...



Or a Halloween extravaganza like this, from PS 683...










Joe Kubert is now well in his eighties and he is still producing work of this standard on a daily basis. I read in a recent issue of Back Issue that the contract has been renewed for ten years, so it seems he has no intention of stopping. Frankly, I don't know what PS would do without him.