Thursday, February 2, 2012

20HH Class Post

1st Post from my other class. [I went back and removed names ;p]

A problem that is echoed in both of Professor H--s pieces is the way in which comics are seen, both within the context of the university as well as the 'common' view.  The external problem is one that has been around since almost the conception of comics and although much forward progression has been made over the years, most likely will still be an issue for sometime: that of comics being recognized as an academically valid genre (both within and from a layman's view point).  One thing struck me and that was the claim that "comic art is a form of writing" (Alt Comics 33).  Writing has been changed to italics because it would seem that here if the word 'Text' were to be exchanged would form a claim that might be more globally accepting (the later use of text in the subsequent paragraph is used as a secondary form of reference).  This statement is not used to criticize Professor Hatfield but to highlight the possible idea that writing typically denotes a strict sense of words exclusively (to most) while 'Text' takes on an aspect more ambiguous and more open to interpretation, while still maintaining the air of academic weight (or at the least containing the same 'worth').   This by no means invalidates or contradicts any of the further arguments in either piece.  In fact it would highlight the capacity of comics to transcend many stereotypically wrong perspectives.  It is multi-disciplinary; it is multi faceted in that it is both visual and written.  Seeing it then as a Text elevates the comic into the many angled artifact that it truly is.  The Richard McGuire piece "Here" is a complex work comprised of multiple frames and nonlinear usage of time.  As the pages progress, the use of panels within panels and varying time markers intertwine a dizzying weave of visual mechanics as well as precise use of word indicators.  Yet when compared to the heavy dialogue centered and linear style (both in panels and time usage) of "A Duck's-Eye View of Europe" by Carle Barks, it's easy to see how comics are a style of writing but it's a text that performs on so many different levels that 'writing' seems to almost limit what these masterpieces are doing.  Maybe stating that "comic art is a form of writing" is as correct as stating "comic art is a form of Text" are the same.  It could be that there needs to be new ways of being able to address the complexity of this genre that would correct any limiting aspects of our discourse on the subject.  Either way comics need to be seen as an academically viable form of art, one in which is begging to break away from the many assumption that have damagingly surrounded this genre for far too long.


  1. I agree with you, altough the common "comics2 you find roudn here ont he states areplagued by bad writing and cliched stories, not really a good example to "art"tify comics or make them look good, not saying theres no good "comics" but i have found much more in depth novel/comics that pop up from europe/asia, perhaps its just the target audience :O

  2. Hmmm...I was had the same thoughts regarding the artistic validity of the common still life in everyday opinion. With the broad range of forms in the comic vs. the graphic novel, there is a definite distinction in how the creator wants their work to be perceived. I've noticed that there has been an influx of movies based on graphic novels, and comic books. I wonder if this is a bid for validity, and an attempt to change the perception of the general public to dispel the idea of the comic as something simple with very little depth to it.

  3. Comics are indeed more than writing. They're a whole new level of art - but you're right, it's hard to classify this genre.