by Rick Norwood
Deep in the summer doldrums, I thought I would indulge my passion for making lists. So without further ado, here are my top twenty-two entertainers alive at century's end.
It seems clear that the greatest artists of the last half of the 20th century have been the
writer-directors, just as the greatest artists of the first half were the writer-artists --
Walt Kelly, Hal Foster, and Milton Caniff. So, the top three living entertainers are:
If movies are high art, television is the greatest popular art ever produced.
There are no great living painters, poets, or novelists. Their job has been taken over by the singer/songwriter.
The closest thing left to underground art (until the great web page arises) is comics.
And then there is one man who switches from comics to television to novels with seeming ease.
In the theatre, the only person whose work I look forward to is:
But I'm usually disappointed.
Science fiction is alive and well in the hands of:
Most of the art alive in the 20th century is in a medium either invented in this century or developed
into significantly new forms. The newest of these is the computer game.
It says something about this great and terrible century that their names don't appear on the box.
Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.
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