Spider-Man as Art

One of many defining characteristics of the postmodern age was a willingness to see other genres besides oil paintings and bronze statues as art.  Where before genres like the movies and photography were not highly regarded, slowly as horizons and insights broadened, they gained acceptance.  Comic books were a part of this sea change.

Spider-Man number #25 from 1965.  Photo courtesy of the blog writer

What set Marvel Comics apart from other superhero tales was their superheroes dealt with real life issues and in the parlance of the day, they had “hang-ups.”  Peter Parker had girlfriends to deal with and homework to finish and a part-time job as a newspaper photographer.  His knack was always being around to photograph some exploit of the amazing Spider-Man.  All this made Spider-Man a relatable figure.  And just as ground-breaking, some Marvel superheroes acquired their super-powers through accidents of science, like being bitten by a radioactive spider.  Marvel superheroes lived in the real world, doing everyday chores that we all do.

Joe Dodd, Spider-Man vs Carnage in Cathedral, 2010, graphite, Gift of the artist, 2013.8 Permanent Collection of Cedarhurst 

The amazing artist who drew our Spider-Man is Joe Dodd from Centralia, Illinois.  Dodd grew up in southern Illinois and enjoyed drawing his favorite comics as a young boy.  Dodd had his high school art shown in a Cedarhurst Scholastics exhibit.  Dodd turned his passion into a career later working for the now famed Marvel comics and later Mattel toys.

Note, the blog returns in two weeks.  Next week, your friendly neighborhood blog writer is installing the 29th iteration of the Cedarhurst Biennial.  You do not want to miss this one!  Biennial opens August 7th!