August 20th, 2008

The Zombie

Wildcat and The Wig

August 19 -  Hey there!  I'm continuing my alphabetical listing of the teachers I had while at the Joe Kubert School for the 1984-1985 year with...

Irwin Hasen - As I think back on Irwin, I can't help feeling a bit protective of him.  He was a very small guy with wispy white hair and an impish face.  At the time, he was best known as the artist of the Dondi comic strip and Golden Age Green Lantern comic books.  It was only during one of our classes that he learned that another of his 1940's creations, Wildcat, was still going strong.  Truly amazed, Irwin teared up at the thought.  That image prevails when I remember him.  Of course, I also remember that he taught us another page layout class of some sort.  His was one of the classes in which we could draw comic book pages, so I really enjoyed them.  Irwin was very knowledgeable about comics, but his biggest strength was comic strips.  He gave us a lot of insight into how daily strips were broken down and paced.  That, and he often absentmindedly kept a pencil in his mouth, down which a trail of drool would hang precariously over our artwork.  How can that not be endearing?

Stan Kay - OK.  Can I just say it?  Was that crazy 1970's hair a wig or what?  Seriously, though, Stan taught classes in caricature and humor (and maybe painting?  I can't recall now).  He was a nasty, funny smartass whose comics career had ironically been primarily the writing of children's comics!  Having made his bones on Casper The Friendly Ghost, Stan was, at that time, the writer of the Muppet Babies comic book.  He once regaled us with the story of his first script consultation meeting with Jim Henson.  Stan was ushered in to an imposing board room.  At the head of a long table was Mr. Henson, seated on the elaborate Skeksis throne from The Dark Crystal!  It is from that impressive perch that Jim Henson told Stan that the baby Miss Piggy would not say such-and-such.  If he had hair, Stan's would have been standing straight up as he wondered what kind of crazy business he'd gotten himself into.  Ha.  I love that story, even if it's true.  Stan was a natural caricaturist, too.  He was very adept at quickly capturing the essence of a subject after just a handful of scratchy, squiggly lines.  I think that he'd even freelanced as a courtroom artist. 

More teachers tomorrow, including Mr. Kubert himself!  Here, then, is your non-1C John's Joe Kubert School Classmate (and First Roommate) of The Day -  Dave Weiser!

That's Dave on the left, and - UGH - me on the right, in our dorm room at The Mansion, 1984.
Can anyone say "Members Only?"