Cover image for Jack Cole and Plastic Man : forms stretched to their limits
Jack Cole and Plastic Man : forms stretched to their limits
Spiegelman, Art.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Chronicle Books, [2001]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Personal Subject:

Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN6728.P54 S68 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and illustrator Art Spiegelman joins forces with designer Chip Kidd to pay homage to the comic book hero Plastic Man and his creator, Jack Cole. Plastic Man is more than just a putty face--with his bad-boy past, he literally embodies the comic book form: the exuberant energy, flexibility, boyishness, and subtle hints of sexuality. And as cartoonists "become" each character they create, it can be said that Jack Cole himself resembles Plastic Man. Cole revealed the true magnitude and intensity of his imagination and inner thoughts as Plastic Man slithered from panel to panel--shifting forms and dashing from male to female, or freely morphing from a stiff upright figure to a being as soft as a Dali clock. With a compelling history, a V-necked red rubber leotard, a black-and-yellow striped belt, and very cool tinted goggles, Plastic Man is truly a cult classic, and this art-packed book will delight any fan.

Author Notes

Art Spiegelman was born in Stockholm, Sweden on February 15, 1948. He is the son of Polish Jews who survived imprisonment in Auschwitz. His family immigrated to the United States. He became a professional cartoonist at the age of 16. He studied art and philosophy at Harpur College.

He became a creative consultant, designer, and writer for Topps Chewing Gum, Inc., where he created Wacky Packages, Garbage Pail Kids and other novelty items. The Complete Mr. Infinity was published in 1970 and won the Joel M. Cavior Award for Jewish Writing. In 1980, Spiegelman and his wife, Françoise Mouly founded the avant-garde comics magazine RAW. His best known work Maus: A Survivor's Tale, was published in 1986 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. His other works include Maus: A Survivor's Tale II, In the Shadow of No Towers, Breakdowns, Jack and the Box, Be a Nose, and The Ghosts of Ellis Island. MetaMaus won the 2011 National Jewish Book Award in the Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir category.

(Bowker Author Biography) Art Spiegelman is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Maus" and "Maus II". His work has been published in more than sixteen languages and has appeared in "The New York Times", "Village Voice", and "Playboy", among others. He has been a contributing editor and cover artist for "The New Yorker" since 1992 and lives in Manhattan.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The life of Jack Cole, creator of the tongue-in-cheek comic-book crime fighter Plastic Man, is as entertaining as his comic-book stories. A resourceful smalltown boy wonder (in 1932, he cycled 7,00o miles across the U.S. and wrote about it for Boys Life), Cole became a professional cartoonist in 1936, in the early days of the comic book industry, after taking a mail-order illustration course. Graphically inventive and prone to wild flights of surreal visual hilarity, Cole anticipated the wit and frenetic comic intensity of Mad magazine in the 1950s and was instrumental in creating the irresistibly lurid crime and horror comic books that provoked the anti-comics hysteria of the same decade. Around the same time, he transformed himself artistically to become the premier gag panel cartoonist at Hugh Hefner's then newly launched Playboy. But Plastic Man, a comic strip about a petty criminal transformed by a chemical accident into a stretchable comic superhero, is his real legacy. Cole's work is characterized by relentless sight gags. Plastic Man is usually doing two or three things at once, his elongated arms and legs snaking after weird criminals like Sadly Sadly, a man with a face so forlorn people weep uncontrollably at the sight of him. Noted book designer Kidd has made the reprinted stories look like old, yellowed, newsprint pages. There is a generous selection of full-color reproductions of Cole's work, and Spiegelman's essay briskly maps his life and his career. In 1958, without warning and at the height of his popularity, Cole shot himself, and no one seems to understand why. This is an excellent memorial to an innovative American cartoonist. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved