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#191644 - 10/07/07 03:21 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
'EVERY SINGLE "indy comics" fan I know likes some kind of genre comics: superhero, teen comics, newspaper daily strips, magazine gag panels - things that often follow conventional expectations"

"I wouldn't give this much weight in the balance."

Well, I do . . . I see at as evidence for my case.'

Disregarding the shot at Snoid, whom I do think is a good example of an "indy exclusivist"-- possibly even the type that Berlatsky's warning against; quien sabe?-- I'd maintain that it's one thing to just indulge a taste for what has been called "Twinkies," tacitly agreeing that they're not good for you, and actually appreciating the specific way a genre works, how it can both satisfy and tweak an audience's expectations. But there's no real way to get into people's heads and prove that they're more one way than the other. In the end you have to return to analyzing the work, and if the analyst concludes that the work doesn't support all the claims made of it, he can either ignore the phenomenon or come up with his own explanation.

"And, comics are pretty legit these days, anyway, what with Clowes and Ware in the NYT, positive reviews in major publications, comics on college syllabi, etc . . . So all of us can rest easy."

I agree that it begins to look like both "genre comics" and "art comics" may have chiseled out some markets where both can survive, if not prosper. Historically, though, legimitacy fears started cropping up with the fear that their competition would prove a zero-sum game, as per (Mysterious Someone's) repeated citations of Gresham's Law.

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#191645 - 10/08/07 01:42 AM 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
Gene, your unerring ability to misread remains startling, even after all these years:
Quote:
Nah, Charles would never claim that genre work was innately inferior.

Except on 5-28-06, and maybe a FEW other times:

"One wouldn't really live a deprived existence never having encountered SPIDER-MAN, but the same isn't true when considering LOLITA or other literature of equal import. The issue of waste comes in when one reads the former at the expense of the latter."
In no way does this state nor imply that SPIDER-MAN pales next to LOLITA because the former is a superhero work. Thus, it has nothing to do with genre works being innately inferior to nongenre works. Instead, it has everything to do with the quality of the respective works themselves. It's farcical that anyone would even think to compare something like the quality of Lee's writing to Nabokov's. Give me a fucking break! I'd consider it ludicrous if anyone tried telling me Pekar was just as good as Celine, as well. Or SIN CITY was just as good as Highsmith. This isn't to say there aren't joys and riches to be had from Pekar, Miller or Lee, just that you need to get some fucking perspective. Some have their William Blake and others have their James Hetfield. Oy vey! I love Mario Bava's films, but it's not saying much to state he never approached the quality of Kubrick's one horror film. "You're no Kubrick, Mario." Is that even an insult? He's still a great filmmaker.
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#191646 - 10/08/07 02:14 AM Re: Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
stevv Offline
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Registered: 07/23/05
Posts: 1579
Loc: The Bristol, Cuba St
Quote:
Originally posted by Dumas:
Quote:
I am only saying that there are other reasons to read than looking for insights - such as enjoying the action of a story and how it's portrayed, the way a cartoonist sets a scene, how he draws faces, his dialogue, etc . . .
I guess I'm not a "real" comic book fan because I'm just not into artwork to the degree that even if I'm not digging the story I'll still be happy if the comic looks good.
I think you missed his point a bit there, Dumas. Aspects such as "the action of a story" & "dialogue" aren't just about saying the comic looks good. Ken's saying there is more to appreciate in art (any art, not necessarily just comics) than just finding insights - though that can be part of the package.

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#191647 - 10/08/07 10:52 AM Re: Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
Dumas Offline
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Registered: 07/20/99
Posts: 6777
Loc: Melnibone
The thing is... A response along the lines of "Yeah, the story is kind of pointless and boring, but look at those great facial expressions!" isn't going to suddenly make me change my mind and realize that I've been dissing a Work of Staggering Genius.

Take Acme Novelty Library for example. Yes, the graphic design elements are really cool. Yes, they look great on the coffee table. But you couldn't get me to read Acme Novelty Library if you paid me. I am completely turned off by the writing, so I don't really care about all that other stuff. I might grudgingly respect Chris Ware, but I'm not going to buy any of his stuff.

And if it's something about subtle pleasures being ultimately more rewarding than stuff that "hits you over the head," then I'm not satisfied with that either. I'd rather be hit over the head a little.

Which is probably why I find a lot of indie movies boring and kind of irritating too.
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#191648 - 10/08/07 12:08 PM Re: Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
Ken Offline
Member

Registered: 02/24/01
Posts: 431
Quote:
Originally posted by gene phillips:
Ken,
It's my perception that you haven't met nearly enough indy posers to judge their prolificity.

Ken, meet Snoid from his own description from "how did you develop as a fan"

1. Saw the cover to OMAC #1 by Kirby, freaked me out, still does, had to have it.
2. Soon realized that Marvel was a million times cooler than DC.
3. Became Marvel Zombie-Spidey was my man.
4. Rinse repeat.
5. Early 80's becoming VERY bored with superheros.
6. Discovered the Comics Journal, 'nuff said.
7. Discovered Crumb and ZAP comics, was never the same.
8. Stopped reading 99% of the comics I had been reading.
9. Started to seek out all the good stuff. Undergrounds, Classic comic stripes, etc.
10. Rinse repeat.
11. Became the snotty elitist dickhead I am today.
Gene,

I have no doubt that there are posers - but is Snoid one of them? Is he serious or partially joking in that last line?

I'm sure there are some art comic elitists (yet Snoid also likes a wide range of stuff). And how does he show his "dread of illegitimacy?

I don't see the kind of automatic assoication between "elitism" and dread.

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#191649 - 10/08/07 12:20 PM Re: Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
Ken Offline
Member

Registered: 02/24/01
Posts: 431
Quote:
Originally posted by stevv:
Quote:
Originally posted by Dumas:
Quote:
I am only saying that there are other reasons to read than looking for insights - such as enjoying the action of a story and how it's portrayed, the way a cartoonist sets a scene, how he draws faces, his dialogue, etc . . .
I guess I'm not a "real" comic book fan because I'm just not into artwork to the degree that even if I'm not digging the story I'll still be happy if the comic looks good.
I think you missed his point a bit there, Dumas. Aspects such as "the action of a story" & "dialogue" aren't just about saying the comic looks good. Ken's saying there is more to appreciate in art (any art, not necessarily just comics) than just finding insights - though that can be part of the package.
Stevv is right.

I think that Dumas is not really having a conversation with me . . . This is indicated by the fact that his posts attribute to me things I haven't said, and (as stevv points out), he seems to miss the point I am making. Dumas takes things as a personal attack, i.e., I am saying he's not a "real" comic book fan because people read for plot and dialogue. What?

"A response along the lines of "Yeah, the story is kind of pointless and boring, but look at those great facial expressions!" isn't going to suddenly make me change my mind and realize that I've been dissing a Work of Staggering Genius."

Who says this? It's fine to draw out the implications of someone's claims, but your characterizations are so far of the mark as to have almost nothing to do with what I said.

We agree on Alex Ross and Blankets, though.

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#191650 - 10/08/07 12:52 PM Re: Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
gene phillips Offline
Member

Registered: 09/30/99
Posts: 5910
Loc: Houston, TX
Quote:
Originally posted by Charles Reece:
Gene, your unerring ability to misread remains startling, even after all these years:
Quote:
Nah, Charles would never claim that genre work was innately inferior.

Except on 5-28-06, and maybe a FEW other times:

"One wouldn't really live a deprived existence never having encountered SPIDER-MAN, but the same isn't true when considering LOLITA or other literature of equal import. The issue of waste comes in when one reads the former at the expense of the latter."
In no way does this state nor imply that SPIDER-MAN pales next to LOLITA because the former is a superhero work. Thus, it has nothing to do with genre works being innately inferior to nongenre works. Instead, it has everything to do with the quality of the respective works themselves. It's farcical that anyone would even think to compare something like the quality of Lee's writing to Nabokov's. Give me a fucking break! I'd consider it ludicrous if anyone tried telling me Pekar was just as good as Celine, as well. Or SIN CITY was just as good as Highsmith. This isn't to say there aren't joys and riches to be had from Pekar, Miller or Lee, just that you need to get some fucking perspective. Some have their William Blake and others have their James Hetfield. Oy vey! I love Mario Bava's films, but it's not saying much to state he never approached the quality of Kubrick's one horror film. "You're no Kubrick, Mario." Is that even an insult? He's still a great filmmaker.
The fact that you think that someone's existence would be "deprived" just from not experiencing Nabokov's "quality" shows me that you're the one with the high/low problem, not I. It doesn't matter to me whether you explain it with reference to genre/nongenre or high quality/low quality, it's still your problem.

Since you force me to answer your armchair psychiatry in kind, I confess that I don't know how you formulated the specious logic of this high/low thing. Given your LOLITA quote, it may be a case of simple self-projection: that you're the one who feels guilt (or maybe "dread") about wasting time on inferior works, not me. I don't think anyone should feel in any way "guilty" about liking what they like, but I suppose you must. Thus my strategy of amplifying patterns in genre-work to explain what I perceive is always dismissed by you as mere apologetics.
That reductiveness on your part made you a good example, as per my reply to Ken, of someone who doesn't make the presumption that I'm just describing what I see.

(Of course, it's possible that despite your claims of having demolished my arguments, you've never really understood them in the least, which would explain a lot.)

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#191651 - 10/08/07 01:18 PM Re: Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
What armchair psychiatry? I simply stuck to the statements as such.

What, you have to put weasel quotes around Nabokov's level of writing as if it's in question? If that's some burden of mine, it's a pretty easy one to carry.

What guilt is demonstrated by simply acknowledging that Lee isn't on the level of Nabokov? It would be idiotic to say otherwise. If, however, you're simply saying there are riches to be had by reading Lee-penned SPIDER-MAN comics, you've no disagreement with me. Nor would I disagree with someone saying SPIDER-MAN offers things which LOLITA doesn't.

What reductiveness? You're slinging terms like hash in a diner.

I'm not sure what you mean by "amplifying patterns in genre-work," but it sure sounds like a pretentious way of saying exaggeration. One doesn't have to "amplify" Highsmith or Lem, their work speaks for itself, regardless of genre politics.
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#191652 - 10/08/07 03:30 PM Re: Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
MBunge Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/01
Posts: 3386
Loc: Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Quote:
Originally posted by Charles Reece:
What guilt is demonstrated by simply acknowledging that Lee isn't on the level of Nabokov?
What the heck sort of "level-system" would even encompass Lee and Nabokov? You may think there's a greater degree of talent and skill in LOLITA, but what would Nabokov have produced if he tried to "write" and edit well over 10 comic books a month for several years? Comparisons need to be of like-to-like, not just this guy and that guy.

Mike

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#191653 - 10/08/07 03:38 PM Re: Debate About State of "Art-Comics" (Particularly Clowes), But w/o Superhero Nuts
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Keep in mind, Mike, I didn't make the comparison to begin with. Lee definitely had to churn it out, but I'm not sure that suggests anything more than he might've been better if he could've taken more time on only one or two books. Even grading on a curve, Lee ain't no Nabokov, but I wouldn't seriously think about comparing them, either.
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