Waiting for the full podcast/transcript of Mazzuchelli's MoCCA talk yesterday. One observation he made-that the work which is embedded in our collective cortex (Ditko, Kirby, Toth, Steranko etc etc) always looked so fresh and unlabored because it was done on deadline and with plenty of hustle.
There's always that paradox when artists of my generation labor to print on "just the right" degraded cardboard stock to begin to approximate the pulpy marks which seem more real to us than the so called "real" world.
Whenever I succumb to the temptation to add an additional color plate I am reminded that the masters did it with the most limited means, on the shittiest paper stock possible. (See the Neal Adams interview for more on this) But they brought to bear such intense sensibilities and such killer chops...
Think of Alex Toth working actual size on a kitchen cutting board as his drafting table.
Another great gem in passing was when D.M was asked if he preferred the "real" NY (where, alas, getting across town by webslinging or billy club rope is an insane fantasy) or the Ditko/Kirby one. He answered as we all answer. Of course the early Marvel universe is the one we prefer. The quiet understated amused tone of his matter of fact answer just underlines how much Jules Feiffer was onto years ago.