Here at The Cross Hatch, our artistic focus this past week was lacking in some of polish to which we’ve become a touch too overly accustom. Thanks to the speaking appearances of two of comics most celebrated lo-fidelity heroes, we’ve been given the opportunity to closely examine the work of legendary artists which undercuts our expectations for overly-produced works of art.
Both Jules Feiffer and Gary Panter have managed that rare feat that so many in their field strive for, producing bodies of work that cause us to rethink both art in general and the world in which we live. While neither is a household name, both have managed to permeate popular culture, both directly, through well-known works (as in the case of Feiffer’s illustrations for the children’s classic, The Phantom Tollbooth and screenplays for films like Robert Altman’s Popeye and Panter’s design work on the fittingly subversive kids’ show, Pee-wee’s Playhouse) and indirectly, with styles that have been endlessly mimicked by generations of up-and-coming artists.
Feiffer spoke to a crowd at Manhattan’s Strand bookstore on Thursday, celebrating the release of his new Fantagraphics collection, Explainers: The Complete Village Voice Strips (1956-66), recreating panels from the book on a large on-stage easel and discussing his pioneering foray into the world of counter-cultural political cartoons. Co-hosted by fellow artist C.F. and Picturebox founder Dan Nadel, the Panter panel at Tokion’s Creativity Now conference was decidedly less focused, thanks at least into the event’s broad mission statement of exploring creativity as well as the career-spanning nature of the new Picturebox book, Gary Panter. With that in mind, it should be noted that the latter gets off to slow start, but does offer a lot of insight into the artist’s process and therefore is worth sticking it out for.
I’d like to think that it’s at least slightly fitting in light of unpolished nature of both creators’ artwork that my methods of capture were anything but expertly produced. However, I’m sure that some will choose to ignore such considerations and instead be irritated by the shaky camera work and sub-par audio quality (though, it should be note that the audio like the discussion itself, the Panter panel picks up after a rocky start), and for these things I apologize. But alas, such is the nature of our budget-free little blog.
After the jump, check out video clips from the Feiffer speech and Panter panel, as well as a full audio recording of the latter. Oh, and as a special treat, I’ve included perhaps the most serendipitous moment of the Tokion conference, a rendition of “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight” by comedians David Cross, Maria Bamford, and Zach Galifianakis from the “State of Comedy” panel.
[More Panter images at The Daily Cross Hatch Flickr account].
[Full audio of Tokion Panter panel, “Gary Panter’s Playhouse” available here.]
Jules Feiffer Part One.
Jules Feiffer Part Two.
Jules Feiffer Part Three.
Gary Panter Part One.
Gary Panter Part Two.
Gary Panter Part Three.
David Cross, Maria Bamford, and Zach Galifianakis sing “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight.”