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#461718 - 04/04/01 01:38 PM Re: Frank Cho Agonistes: Print Post Drops Liberty Meadows
gene phillips Offline
Member

Registered: 09/30/99
Posts: 5910
Loc: Houston, TX
Real short answer:

In a perfect world according to me, neither Gary Groth, Kim Thompson, nor Frank Cho could dole out awards/"places in the canon"/whatever to works if any of them stood to gain so much as a red farthing from touting said work.

That's what advertising is for.

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#461719 - 04/04/01 02:14 PM Re: Frank Cho Agonistes: Print Post Drops Liberty Meadows
gene phillips Offline
Member

Registered: 09/30/99
Posts: 5910
Loc: Houston, TX
Also, Kim, the reason you and I are having this "discussion"-- you know, a "discussion" just like the one for "Sim vs. Smith"-- is to look at those possible "conflicts of interest" in light of what Cho says in his interview. Sorry if you feel it doesn't need to brought up again, but I'm not quite convinced.

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#461720 - 04/04/01 03:19 PM Re: Frank Cho Agonistes: Print Post Drops Liberty Meadows
Tom Spurgeon Offline
Member

Registered: 12/24/98
Posts: 1095
Loc: WCW Special Forces
I think every big paper nearest a cartoonist's hometown should carry that cartoonist's work if it's offered from a legitimate syndicate.

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#461721 - 04/04/01 03:44 PM Re: Frank Cho Agonistes: Print Post Drops Liberty Meadows
Kim Thompson Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 0
Gene, you can bring it up again 'til you're blue in the face -- I don't mind. I'm just saying that the two instances are so different that it's pointless.

Wouldn't it make more sense to debate Cho's situation on its own merits than to drag in vaguely similar but significantly different instances that can then lose us in an infinite nit-picking argument as to why the cases are or are not similar? This is particularly baffling since you seem to disapprove of Cho's acts anyway, so it's not like you need to pound on the JOURNAL anyway except by some sort of weird reflex.

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#461722 - 04/04/01 06:16 PM Re: Frank Cho Agonistes: Print Post Drops Liberty Meadows
gene phillips Offline
Member

Registered: 09/30/99
Posts: 5910
Loc: Houston, TX
Here's the relevant quote from Cho that I'm agreeing with, if only in part:

"I don't know why the Comics Journal gets so bent out of shape about self-nomination, since they do it themselves." He then goes on to recite a refrain I'm sure Fanta people are heartily sick of, that four or five of the top 10 are Fanta books (I'm sure it's right up there with the song about TCJ being nothing but Fanta's house organ). So, although he does say he wishes he had not gone ahead and self-nominated, he does also
criticize you guys, and I find that worthy of discussion (hardly a "reflex").

What are the key differences between Cho's self-nomination and the Top 100? Well, contrary to what you wrote Cho's self-nomination doesn't claim he's one of the greatest cartoonists of all time; just the best in a particular category during the year the Ignatz was awarded.

Another would be that the Top 100 confers no award as such, except having earned the difficult-to-receive approbation of six JOURNAL writers. As I said, I think the end is still the same, though; to champion this or that work of comic art.

And lastly, as you say the Ignatz is voted on by a popular audience rather than by six guys in the industry. But neither process is more or less "legitimate" than the other, any more than the Nebulas are more so than the Hugos. Perhaps if you elucidated what you meant by "sheen of legitimacy..."

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#461723 - 04/04/01 06:45 PM Re: Frank Cho Agonistes: Print Post Drops Liberty Meadows
gene phillips Offline
Member

Registered: 09/30/99
Posts: 5910
Loc: Houston, TX
"I don't know why the Comics Journal gets so bent out of shape about self-nomination, since they often do it themselves." That's the assertion of Cho's I felt worth discussing (hardly a "reflex," but a response to a professional's accusation.) He then goes on to recite a refrain I'm sure is much beloved by Journalistas, that four or five of the Top Ten on the list are Fanta books. I'm not sure if it's more beloved than the "J0URNAL is just a house organ for Fantagraphics" refrain, but I feel sure it's right up there.

At any rate, while Cho does admit he should have excused himself from the judgeship, he clearly doesn't think Fanta's hands are clean on this either, and I don't think he's making a "silly" comparison. Yes, there are differences between the Ignatz and the Top 100 list, but at base I still think they are comparable in being publicity-garnering stunts.

Lemme try to make my position clear to anyone listening:

If Gary Groth on his lonesome writes a positive review of a Fanta book, it doesn't bother me. If Kim Thompson on his lonesome writes a positive review of a Fanta book, it doesn't bother me; in large part because the JOURNAL has a history of running some negative reviews of their stuff. This sort of criticism is "publicity" only in the loosest sense; a review by any single critic, even one I disagree with, is for me an attempt at discourse first and an attempt to publicize second.

I don't consider the Top 100 list to be the same sort of discourse. It is, like the nominations of the Ignatz judges, an attempt to produce a "consensus sapientum", a consensus between those who are or consider themselves "wise," on what is worthy work (the Ignatz for a particular year, the Top 100 for all comics up to that time). I regard both as primarily attempts to publicize, not to provide critical discourse. You might remember that others besides myself criticized the list on the grounds of not providing critical parameters, which is admittedly a lot easier to do when dealing with one critic essayist than six or more separate nominees.

And that's why I think Cho's comparison is at least partly valid. Feel free to disagree till you're blue in the face.

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#461724 - 04/04/01 08:01 PM Re: Frank Cho Agonistes: Print Post Drops Liberty Meadows
Mute Offline
Member

Registered: 12/03/98
Posts: 465
Howard Price asked:
Quote:
John, where did this happen?


It happened on Usenet. I can't recall at this remove whether it was actually in the then-regular postings of Cho's newsletters to rac* groups by Allan Gross, or if people who'd received it in email were discussing it. But I certainly read there, before the Journal issue came out, that Cho was entreating people to beg their papers to kick Schulz out and make room for a crazy monkey who mocks DA MAN.

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#461725 - 04/05/01 01:29 AM Re: Frank Cho Agonistes: Print Post Drops Liberty Meadows
Kim Thompson Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 0
Gene, we agree to disagree. I think the JOURNAL Top 100 will stand the test of time as the best, most comprehensive, most perceptive summary of a century's worth of comics, and the reason this is so is because it was put together by people who have an intimate knowledge of the field as a whole, and --surprise!-- this meant some of the people actually work in the field.

We challenged other people to come up with their lists, and no one came up with a list that was anywhere near as good. So we win simply by virtue of everyone else's indolence. Ha ha.

Cho's figure as to how many "Fantagraphics-published" titles were in the Top 10 only works if you list things like POGO or FEIFFER, which is clearly stupid on the face of it. (Yes, Gary Groth and I snuck POGO up there to sell more copies of the Fantagraphics edition -- so devious!)

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#461726 - 04/05/01 02:03 AM Re: Frank Cho Agonistes: Print Post Drops Liberty Meadows
U Po Kyin Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 579
Loc: AZ
Exactly how would, say Ray Mescallado, or any of the other non-FBI employee contributors to the list benefit from hyping Fantagraphics books? And what's the point of complaining about the appearance of a conflict of interest when there ain't a real one?

[This message has been edited by U Po Kyin (edited 04-05-2001).]

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#461727 - 04/05/01 05:24 AM Re: Frank Cho Agonistes: Print Post Drops Liberty Meadows
Red Tall Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/31/01
Posts: 30
Gene, we agree to disagree. I think the JOURNAL Top 100 will stand the test of time as the best, most comprehensive, most perceptive summary of a century's worth of comics, <<

Only to the 35 or 40 people that actually read the list, Kim.

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