It's been around since forever, my dad's old poker board. We loved it as kids, with its cartoonish characters. He was a frustrated artist, pressured by his parents to pursue a traditional college education. After marrying, he attended the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, finally able to fuel his passion. He and my mother gave me this drawing from those days.
He carved humorous figures from wood and painted them in the 50s and 60s. They were similar to the characters on the poker board, circus strong men wearing leopard print skins, busty women with buck teeth. Later, he began carving tall, abstract birds. I have a couple of those, one he gave me on my wedding day.
But I've always loved his poker board. I remember countless card games played deep into the night with aunts and uncles when I was young. As a teenager, I played on it with my brothers. It was stored in the kitchen closet along with Mom's cookbooks, bread boards and table extensions.
After three strokes, my dad's in a nursing home. Somewhat chipped and showing its age, the poker board has moved from the closet and now hangs on the wall in the family room at my parent's home, a fitting place for sure.
“His democratic approach to art surprises and amuses people,” said Selfridges’ creative director, Alannah Weston, referring to Mr. Brett.
It took six months to plan and produce the artistry that will engulf the store through Oct. 25. Many of the artists taking part have developmental or other disabilities and the show aims to draw attention to progressive art workshops.
Ideas on display include a fashion collection of simple pieces by the design duo Clements Ribeiro in prints taken from the art on show.
“It is refreshing and stimulating — these artworks have a beautiful rawness,” Inacio Ribeiro said. “We very much like the unusual, anti-corporate concept that seems so intrinsic to the Museum of Everything. There is humor and a huge sense of playful humanity.”
The museum staged its first “Outsider Art” exhibition in 2009 at the time of the Frieze Art Fair and shows have since popped up at the Pinacoteca Agnelli in Turin and at the Tate Modern. Mr. Brett admits that melding the art with commerce in a department store is an experiment, but Harry Gordon Selfridge, the American-born entrepreneur who founded the vast emporium in the Edwardian era, would surely have approved.
Stan Lee: The only Marvel character I didn’t like was…
June 12, 2011 | 8:10 a.m.
Comics icon Stan Lee churned out hundreds of characters during the great Marvel renaissance of the 1960s and his collaborations with artists such as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Don Heck and John Buscema created a vast and history-making tapestry of heroes and villains. But surely there were some duds in there, too, right? That was essentially the question posed by Patt Morrison of the Los Angeles Times and it led to this answer:
“Oh, no, if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t have written it. Wait a minute, there was one. Jack Kirby and I were doing the Fantastic Four. We needed a new villain — we always worked under tremendous deadlines; we were doing dozens of books a month. I said: “Jack, I think a great name is Diablo; why don’t you draw a guy called Diablo, and we’ll give him some kind of power.” And he drew a real scary-looking guy, but I had no idea who Diablo was or where he came from. I must have batted out something and Jack drew it, and to this day I can’t remember what the Diablo story was. The only thing I ever wrote that I don’t know what it was! So I think I didn’t like that particular issue.”
That issue, by the way, was “Fantastic Four” No. 30 from the summer of 1964 (you can find a great summary of the story right here). Morrison talked to Lee about plenty of other things, too, you can find her in-depth Q&A right here. If you’re a Marvel fan, by the way, and you live in Southern California, you might want to check out the closing night of the Hero Complex Film Festival.