In this week's Books section, I reviewed the obnoxiously punctuated S.H.I.E.L.D. by Steranko: The Complete Collection, a 300-plus-page collection of a whole bunch of Nick Fury-centric stories, the majority of which are both written and drawn by Jim Steranko. (Early on, the stories are written by Stan Lee and Roy Thomas, and the art is laid out by Jack Kirby—but pretty soon, those dudes just figured out the best thing to do was leave the twenty-something Steranko to his own devices.) Here's the start of the review:
The first page you should read in S.H.I.E.L.D. by Steranko: The Complete Collection is the final one. That's where you'll find Jim Steranko's biography, which I suspect was written by Jim Steranko. It begins by noting that Steranko's "one of the most controversial figures in contemporary culture," adds that "as an escape artist, his death-defying performances inspired the character Mister Miracle and the protagonist of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay," and concludes by matter-of-factly stating that in addition to revolutionizing comics, Steranko "has been a musician, photographer, male model, ad agency art director, sideshow fire-eater, typographer, magician, designer, publisher... the list goes on."
What does a man like that look like, you ask? Like this! STERANKO!
This post is partly about my review (go read it!), and partly to draw attention to the remarkable, groundbreaking work of Steranko (go read his comics!), but also to note that we're living in a weird and blessed sort of Steranko renaissance—not due to any new work by the man, but due to the fact that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which Bobby recapped yesterday) has a whole lot to do with the S.H.I.E.L.D. comics Steranko made in the late '60s, and also due to the fact Steranko recently joined Twitter, where—with a long-form style he's dubbed "TNT" ("Twitter Narrative Technique"), he's telling I.N.S.A.N.E. stories from his life. If you read no others, read this one. Then this one. A sample:
I should also note that Steranko's recapping Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for the Hollywood Reporter, and it is exactly as fascinating as you would imagine.
In conclusion, I am delighted by all of this. STERANKO!
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!