A Silver Age: The Glamorous Life Of Phil Noto’s Marvel Heroes in Faux Photos [Art]
One of my favorite songs is “Being Boring” by Pet Shop Boys. It’s a sweet 1990 synthpop ode to times past whose lyrics tell a story about, among other things, dressing up, glamorous parties, friendship, and reflecting upon all those things many years hence upon the discovery of old photographs. The track immediately played in my mind when I laid eyes upon this series of beautiful illustrations created by Phil Noto in which Marvel Comics heroes of the Silver Age are depicted as beguiling socialites sharing champagne in the company of friends. Noto’s images are made to look like old photographs taken candidly at ritzy parties of the 1960s and early ’70s, where period-specific characters like the Fantastic Four and the X-Men take a break from saving the world to cut loose and enjoy a lovely and intimate affair with their loved ones.The images are striking not just because of Noto’s always excellent technique and his invocation of the aesthetics and mood associated with the era, but because they make you forget for a moment that in comics, there really is no such thing as a candid moment. Noto’s good enough to fool you, and publishing them via the eminently candid medium of Tumblr, where they can scroll past you just as quickly as any of your real-life friends’ photographs of happier times — perhaps the kind that you, Marvel’s heroes, the characters in the song don’t have much time for anymore — makes the illusion seem all the more real.
From the Hank Pym Photo Archives- “Janet and Jean, Stark Mansion, 1967″
From the Hank Pym Photo Archives- “So Reed and Sue decided to throw a dinner party to welcome the Attilan Royal Family to New York. It was quite the to-do. Just about everyone in the hero circle was there. Black Bolt, Medusa, et al. were a bit surprised I suspect, but very appreciative. I got some nice shots of the budding romance between Medusa’s sister, Crystal and Johnny Storm. I think Sue may have introduced them before but the “sparks” were definitely flying that night.
Black Bolt seemed a bit stoic and standoff-ish, not really mingling, but since apparently a single utterance would level a couple of city blocks, I guess you couldn’t blame him. I think everyone was slightly in awe of him, as he had such a regal presence. Janet, of course, seemed to hit it off with him as I spied the two them later in the evening tucked away in a corner “talking” about who knows what.” – Henry Pym
From the Hank Pym Photo Archives- Tony Stark’s Hamptons Hideaway