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#191544 - 09/14/07 05:38 PM Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
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Got this from the Journalista Blog:

I hate Clowes and Ware for their "litera...ude dayglo art.

Hunh?

Yeah, I don\'t make much sense, but I\'ll try again

Good grief.

Berlatsky's criticism is what I imagine the ideal VICE reader to be like.
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#191545 - 09/15/07 11:58 AM Re: Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
Ken Offline
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Registered: 02/24/01
Posts: 431
Noah B. can be a smart and interesting writer, but he lets his need to be an "angry young man" in the Groth mold get in the way of detailed and specific arguments - so it's just too easy to find numerous exceptions to everything he says.

Groth is a much more effective writer because he lays out his arguments in greater depth and seems less blinded by some strange animus that is always on display in excess.

He's a good example of a type that the comics journal attracts, a kind of intellectual who needs to be seen as an anti-intellectual: "smart and precious people like 'literary fiction' so I must attack it." I don't doubt that he dislikes this kind of stuff, but his need to rant in such a way makes me wonder what's going on. Perhpas he could be the best writer for TCJ if he was at least a little interested in persuading his readers . . . He is TCJ's least rhetorically effective writer, and that's too bad becauses he's a bright guy.

PS: having looked at the Holder responses, I think he's on target with his comments - he brings in examples that fully undermine Noah's argument.

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#191546 - 09/15/07 12:07 PM Re: Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
Ken Offline
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Registered: 02/24/01
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Part one of Clowes's new NYT strip:

http://www.nytimes.com/ref/magazine/funnypages.html

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#191547 - 09/15/07 12:54 PM Re: Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
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Loc: us of fuckin' a
Yeah, Ken, he's a bright guy, but who cares, you know? He's bent on taking down all the big dogs in the small pack, but what he wants to replace them with is Johny Ryan and Fort Thunder or Paperrad. I can't imagine a more comic book artist than Ware. It's impossible to translate what he does to any other medium, yet, Noah calls him literary? Ware was the first comics artist I recall being very vocal about the dilution of the comics form through the aping of other media. Noah seems more interested in phony rebellion than art which attempts to say something. Reminds me of the backlash against Bergman and Antonioni, where not trying for much was championed over trying and sometimes failing. Maybe his scorched earth tactics wouldn't bother me as much if what he liked wasn't a bunch of snarky horseshit. I can appreciate someone arguing Masumura or Suzuki is the greater artist to Kurosawa or Ozu.
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#191548 - 09/15/07 01:18 PM Re: Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
Ken Offline
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Registered: 02/24/01
Posts: 431
Charles,

You are right -- Every now and then I read something by him and say "here's a critic who could be good" - but, really, in the end who cares about "potential" when someone has no interest in realizing it.

"Noah seems more interested in phony rebellion than art which attempts to say something."

This sums up it nicely.

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#191549 - 09/15/07 02:42 PM Re: Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
gene phillips Offline
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Registered: 09/30/99
Posts: 5910
Loc: Houston, TX
Bertlatsky could have just simplified things by asserting that Clowes isn't just striving too hard to fit some vague model of "literary fiction," but that it was following a model of "bad literary fiction." That is, fiction that's trying to be literary but just doesn't have the right stuff, and ends up being derivative of better authors.

Which is certainly the way I feel about Clowes. I'm not as militant against Ware but I just don't think there's as much there as his apologists assert.

Okay, Charles, what the hell is a VICE reader?

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#191550 - 09/15/07 03:28 PM Re: Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
Ken Offline
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Registered: 02/24/01
Posts: 431
What model of literary fiction is Clowes "striving to fit?"

And all this time I thought Clowes was making comics . . .

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#191551 - 09/15/07 06:41 PM Re: Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
"Literary fiction" is a vague anti-intellectual intellectual insult. Who knows what it means, but I'd sure like to see Gene try.

Gene, it's the hipster, smarter-than-thou crapzine that started in Montreal and is now based out of LA. I think it has nation-wide distribution. Perfectly fitting, when they did a comics issue, they got Ryan to edit it. Anyway, here 's the Wikipedia entry for it.
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#191552 - 09/15/07 09:52 PM Re: Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
stevv Offline
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Posts: 1579
Loc: The Bristol, Cuba St
Gene, correct me if I'm wrong, but you (and Bertlatsky) are using 'Literary' in a fairly, umm, non-literal way. Bertlatsky says alt comics are "...becoming literary fiction" to avoid being associated with super-heroes. For him, I think, literary is supposed to refer to narrative fiction that is "Serious Art": autobios, memoirs and whatever else he imagines is too intellectual and concerned with respectability. But: "...the current obssessions [sic] of art comics basically, memoir and literary fiction (to the extent that the two are separable.)" As Hodler says - Huh??


From Wikipedia on Vice:
"The magazine's readership comprises young postcollegiate bohemians, often labelled "hipsters." Known for its controversial content, it often strikes a sardonic and ironic pose..."
Eww. Apparently they publish an edition here, so I might track down a copy to see if it's as bad as it sounds.

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#191553 - 09/17/07 02:43 PM Re: Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
gene phillips Offline
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Registered: 09/30/99
Posts: 5910
Loc: Houston, TX
Quote:
Originally posted by Charles Reece:
"Literary fiction" is a vague anti-intellectual intellectual insult. Who knows what it means, but I'd sure like to see Gene try.

Gene, it's the hipster, smarter-than-thou crapzine that started in Montreal and is now based out of LA. I think it has nation-wide distribution. Perfectly fitting, when they did a comics issue, they got Ryan to edit it. Anyway, here 's the Wikipedia entry for it.
My point is that when one uses "literary fiction" as a damning term, what's often connoted is that the fiction in question is pretentious and precious and affected. This is what *I* would call "bad literary fiction," to avoid tarring the good stuff with the same brush, but I have no idea if that's what B. was trying to get across. He seemed to have some vague notion of some sort of literature with genuine value, though on that particular post he didn't give details. That's why I would presume that he's not necessarily damning everything from Aristophanes to Zola as too damn pretentious and precious, but I've no interest in sorting out his priorities. The semantics of that one item were all that interested me.

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