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#465087 - 05/08/01 03:00 PM BORDERS on COMICS
Max Ink Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/98
Posts: 38
Loc: Columbus, Ohio USA
"Literature and comic books have absolutely nothing to do with each other, right? Literature is subtle; comic books are lurid and pulpy. Literature is built with words; comic books rely on pictures. Above all, literature is for adults (or those who wish to become adults); comic books are for kids (or those who wish to remain kids). Chris Ware and Dan Clowes are two of a handful of comic book artists whose work challenges these assumptions. On the literary front, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay -- a fantastic tale of World War II and the golden age of comic books -- just earned Michael Chabon a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It's a wonderful, big-hearted epic about love and the powers of the artistic imagination, about escapism and responsibility."

This arrived in my e-mailbox as the frontpeice of their "BORDERS.COM Lit" Newsletter. The lead sentence caught my attention and I thought they were actually going to show off some ACME or DAVID BORING stuff but... no. It was all about Chabon. (Which is fine, don't get me wrong!)

It seems we have the continuation of the revolution began in `86. If those who create sequential art can challenge themselves and continue the revolution (or is it evolution?), the "general public" will break down and accept comics AS literature, rather than "lurid and pulpy." The trick is to actually create stories which are honest, subtle, cognizant and mature-- like good literature.

I'm not suggesting that ALL comic books "evolve." However, if we creators of comics continually challenge ourselves to be honest in our writing and strive to become subtle in our illusrtating (flashy is fine, on occasion-- but if it's constant, it tends to dull the senses-- which is why (I figure)B&W books do better ammong the "literate" crowd) I'm sure the readership of comics among all potential readers will grow and blossom and actually become respectable to the degree that sequential art will BE an accepted art form among the general public.

I'm curious to read anyone's constructive thoughts in this regard.

ONWARDS

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Keeping the Message of Words & Pictures Alive since 1979!
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#465088 - 05/09/01 11:59 PM Re: BORDERS on COMICS
Rick Bradford Offline
Member

Registered: 01/14/99
Posts: 982
Loc: Texas, USA
While I imagine that the copywriter at Border's is actually showing his support of comics, I'm pretty sure the general public would read the statement as confirmation of their current opinions. It only says that Ware and Clowes are two artists who challenge the existing assumptions -- it doesn't say they're successful in any way. It does, however, reinforce the idea that the guy using *only* words (Chabon) is the guy to pay attention to.

Or maybe it's just me.

--Ricko
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#465089 - 05/11/01 04:16 AM Re: BORDERS on COMICS
Max Ink Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/98
Posts: 38
Loc: Columbus, Ohio USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Rick Bradford:
While I imagine that the copywriter at Border's is actually showing his support of comics, I'm pretty sure the general public would read the statement as confirmation of their current opinions.


Geez-- Ricko. This Thread is goin' like gangbusters over at Sequential Tart! Thanks for your input here at Comicon!

Actually, I don't see the copywriter's support. The "only" reason he or she mentioned Ware & Clowes is (i believe) because they are published by a "legit" publishing company: Pantheon. Which is owned by Knopf. Which is owned by Random House. Those companies publish "real books," so then the copywriter begrudgingly accepts Ware's & Clowes' attempts at producing "literate draw novels"...

Ugh.

I know. It's all supposition and my "what- company-owns-what" might be screwed up, but it rattles me that people stereotype comics as "just for kids" and "junk."

Blah.

I've got better things to do than whine and moan right now.
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#465090 - 05/11/01 06:34 AM Re: BORDERS on COMICS
jack Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/99
Posts: 12596
Loc: Just south of NYC
I know I have an automatic bias as a store owner, but it just gives me the creeps to think that Borders or B&N would ever have a positive impact on distribution for comics.

Would Wal-Mart "lower their prices" on comics every day, for example?

I just don't see it happening if from a purely aesthetic/economic standpoint more than anything else.

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#465091 - 05/11/01 01:06 PM Re: BORDERS on COMICS
Walt Stone Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 496
Loc: Katy, Tx
apparently Chabon was heavily influenced when he was quite young by a writer who gave him scores of Sci-Fi books she had previously read herself.

The writer is now a well published romance writer. Though she wrote romance then and now, she read the Sci-Fi books for enjoyment that Chabon later read and therefore helped to shape and feed his imagination.

Walt Stone

[This message has been edited by Walt Stone (edited 05-11-2001).]

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#465092 - 05/11/01 02:36 PM Re: BORDERS on COMICS
Max Ink Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/98
Posts: 38
Loc: Columbus, Ohio USA
Quote:
Originally posted by jack:
I know I have an automatic bias as a store owner, but it just gives me the creeps to think that Borders or B&N would ever have a positive impact on distribution for comics.

Would Wal-Mart "lower their prices" on comics every day, for example?

I just don't see it happening if from a purely aesthetic/economic standpoint more than anything else.


I see Wal-Mart having as much to do with Borders and B&N as (I figure) you see B&N and Borders in connection with Comic Book Stores.

I'm not talking about SALES--

I'm talking about people's opinion of Sequential Art. The majority of the American population has a negative viewpoint of comics. (if they ever think about at all...)

This stereotype is no different than the unthinking stereotypes people have of blacks, latinos, asians, gays, WWF fans, juggalos, or any number of "minority groups." I was never one to buy into stereotypes of any kind. (even though my socialogical brain seems to be "hard-wired" to accept them...grrr!) I like to see each individual as an individual rather than one of a group.

But that's me.

In my own work (and presentation of it) I strive to create "literate" comics that the "general public" won't dismiss out of hand. I present these to new, potential readers with pride in my own work and the whole of the comic book medium. When people read my work, they generally say, "I never knew comics could be done like THIS." Then I go into a shpeal (how DO you spell that?) about the great number of great books that happen to be drawn as well as written.

The revolution is continuing from 1986. The revolution will continue. Slowly.

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Keeping the Message of Words & Pictures Alive since 1979!
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Keeping the Message of Words & Pictures Alive since 1979!

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