CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE (1)
December 5, 2020
The New York City seen in Marvel’s comic books is recognizably the one in which the publisher has its headquarters. Douglas Wolk’s latest HILOBROW series, CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE, spotlights some of Marvel’s images of Times Square, documenting the neighborhood’s architecture and advertisements as they’ve changed over time. Wolk’s forthcoming book, All of the Marvels, will be published by Penguin in Fall 2021.
An ocean liner mysteriously appears in the middle of Times Square in 1955’s Journey Into Mystery #23 — art by John Forte, writer unknown. (The ship turns out to have been put there by a misbehaving alien child.) The Criterion Theatre seen here was built in the 1930s on the site of what had once been the Olympia Theatre, and was in Times Square under that name until 1989; it has now been converted into a Gap and Old Navy flagship store.
CURATED SERIES at HILOBROW: LINOCUT 2020 by Lawry Hutcheson | CHALK.PRESS by Adam Netburn | PLAGUE YEAR by Rick Pinchera | NOOSFERA by Charles Glaubitz | CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE by Douglas Wolk | A SILENT HALLUCINATION by Alex Gerasev | BUNNY CITY by Gary Panter | HOP UP by Luc Sante | UNBORED CANON by Josh Glenn | CARPE PHALLUM by Patrick Cates | MS. K by Heather Kasunick | HERE BE MONSTERS by Mister Reusch | DOWNTOWNE by Bradley Peterson | #FX by Michael Lewy | PINNED PANELS by Zack Smith | TANK UP by Tony Leone | OUTBOUND TO MONTEVIDEO by Mimi Lipson | TAKING LIBERTIES by Douglas Wolk | STERANKOISMS by Douglas Wolk | MARVEL vs. MUSEUM by Douglas Wolk | NEVER BEGIN TO SING by Damon Krukowski | WTC WTF by Douglas Wolk | COOLING OFF THE COMMOTION by Chenjerai Kumanyika | THAT’S GREAT MARVEL by Douglas Wolk | LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE by Chris Spurgeon | IMAGINARY FRIENDS by Alexandra Molotkow | UNFLOWN by Jacob Covey | ADEQUATED by Franklin Bruno | QUALITY JOE by Joe Alterio | CHICKEN LIT by Lisa Jane Persky | PINAKOTHEK by Luc Sante | ALL MY STARS by Joanne McNeil | BIGFOOT ISLAND by Michael Lewy | NOT OF THIS EARTH by Michael Lewy | ANIMAL MAGNETISM by Colin Dickey | KEEPERS by Steph Burt | AMERICA OBSCURA by Andrew Hultkrans | HEATHCLIFF, FOR WHY? by Brandi Brown | DAILY DRUMPF by Rick Pinchera | BEDROOM AIRPORT by “Parson Edwards” | INTO THE VOID by Charlie Jane Anders | WE REABSORB & ENLIVEN by Matthew Battles | BRAINIAC by Joshua Glenn | COMICALLY VINTAGE by Comically Vintage | BLDGBLOG by Geoff Manaugh | WINDS OF MAGIC by James Parker | MUSEUM OF FEMORIBILIA by Lynn Peril | ROBOTS + MONSTERS by Joe Alterio | MONSTOBER by Rick Pinchera | POP WITH A SHOTGUN by Devin McKinney | FEEDBACK by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FTW by John Hilgart | ANNOTATED GIF by Kerry Callen | FANCHILD by Adam McGovern | BOOKFUTURISM by James Bridle | NOMADBROW by Erik Davis | SCREEN TIME by Jacob Mikanowski | FALSE MACHINE by Patrick Stuart | SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS (cross-posted from Significant Objects website) | UNBORED MANIFESTO by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen | H IS FOR HOBO by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FRIDAY by guest curators
What do you think?
Hmm, misbehaving alien child…perhaps a precursor to The Infant Terrible in Fantastic Four #24? Which might also indicate the scripter as Stan Lee…the cop in Panel 2 def talks like Ben Grimm. I always suspected that the FF plot was, in turn, raided by the Star Trek TOS writers room for the “Squire of Gothos” episode…
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