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‘Memorabilia’ (review)

Written and Illustrated by
Sergio Ponchione 
Published by Fantagraphics

 

Sergio Ponchione’s Memorabilia is a translated love letter to comic book imagination and artistic heroes.

Partially reprinted from another book entirely, it’s a lovely if fairly inconsequential piece. Ponchione’s own artwork is a bit reminiscent of the early work of smooth British comics artist, David Lloyd.

Much of this particular book, however consists of his artistic tributes to Jack Kirby, Wallace Wood, Steve Ditko, Will Eisner, and Rich Corben. The book begins with a successful artist introducing an uninformed neophyte to the legendary comic book creators who came before him.

There are a few factual errors here and there but the love and respect for the varied styles of the earlier creators comes through across the board. The Eisner section in particular sees the clever updating of familiar Eisner tropes including architecture built from words.

Corben seems the odd man out. Unique and wonderful though he is, his name is rarely invoked with the same reverence and importance as those of the others. It almost feels as though he has been added simply to pad out the book. The book is further padded out when all five of the covered artists receive a biographical page in the back.

When all is said and done, you feel like you’ve spent a few minutes with someone who shares your love of the great comics artists but the story itself is so slight as to be almost non-existent.

As an introduction to Ditko, Wood, Kirby, Eisner, and Corben, I recommend their actual work, not someone simply paying homage to it, no matter how well-intentioned and respectful it may be.

 

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