Friday, December 22, 2017

Boys From Queens

Rediscovering Nicole Claveloux, France’s Dali of Pop Art Comics Stories - Print Magazine:

This article about the comic art of Nicole Claveloux is respectful, and it displays many of her fine pages to beautiful advantage. The artwork itself is quite remarkable, and I must say that I have been unaware of her for all of this time. Articles like this provide a wonderful service, not only to professionals in the field that is being examined, but also to running dogs like me who follow the camp at a distance, hoping to pick up a few scraps.

Michael Dooley is a very good writer of pieces like this, and for me he is the real story here. I sat next to Michael in the seventh grade at a Catholic grammar school in Queens, a working-class borough of New York City. I liked to draw, and I enjoyed comics very much, but Michael was already a very accomplished cartoonist and his interest in comics had already taken an academic turn. We were both doodlers, and during that school year we worked together on a few projects in an innocent kind of folie au deux. The best was a very small format, eight-page “Daily News of Rome,” which was modeled on the New York Daily News (a photo-heavy tabloid newspaper). The art was almost all Michael’s, and it was lovely. I managed to save a couple of examples over the decades and I gave them to Michael a few years ago. It was a touching scene. Two dreamy malcontents from parochial education, reunited over their escape from the discipline of the nuns. Poignant!

Michael went on to build a formidable career in and around the art world, finally fulfilling his promise as an academic. We grew up in a town where just not getting killed by the traffic was a big achievement, and the boys devoted a lot of creative energy to avoiding beatings on the streets, at home, and at school. I’ve become aware of a few success stories over the years, however, and I’m very glad that Michael is one of them. Good for you, Mr. Dooley! Good for you. 

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