Friday, August 11, 2006

Pages 11 and 12 are started up.

The interview went very well this evening although I have to admit there was some frustration involved due to the use of the term 'graphic novel'. I should have done some more research beforehand so I could have been more clear, I knew we would be talking about graphic novels but not to the extent the host had planned out. Mr. Walsh had brought in the 30th anniversary issue of the Comics Journal that had a special reprinting of what they considered to be the first graphic novel ever made, titled It Rhymes With Lust (predating Eisner's Contract With God). I guess because I drew graphic novels everyone thought I'd be following this story which sadly I haven't, most likely because I'm not a regular reader of the Comics Journal (horrors, I know).

The story was meant to be an important milestone in the evolution of the graphic novel to what it is today. Not comics, graphic novels. And here's where I became frustrated, as I see no distinction between the two aside from how these stories are bound.

So we kept on this for some time until finally I said something along the lines of "People who think comics are for kids and don't want to be caught reading them try to apply this term just so they can feel comfortable reading comics".

Which is really how I feel about this. Bless Frank Miller and his body of work (okay, I'm a bit iffy on DK2) but his current crusade to declare comics a dead medium, graphic novels are the future blah blah blah just tans my hide! Come on, they're comics people! What's the big deal here?

The thing that gets me is when people refer to the well known graphic novels, works like V for Vendetta, Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns, Sandman and okay, Y -The Last Man they tend to forget that all of these books started off as a series of individual comic books. Yet somehow the book form is an elevated medium, a more adult version to the original?

When I was younger and collected comics for fun and profit (*g*) we didn't think of these books so highly. We called them 'trade paperbacks' and they were meant to be used as an alternative to pulling out the oh so valuable comics from their mylars thereby preventing devaluation. So if you wanted to give your buddy a copy of Daredevil: Born Again or the phoenix Saga you could hand over the trade and not worry about getting it back in the same condition because they were essentially worthless.

I have never considered myself a graphic novelist/artist despite the fact that some of my work ends up in the collected format largely regarded as graphic novels. I draw comics. Comic books. Not floppies, not pamphlets as some have called them and god how I hate that usage. If I wanted to make pamphlets all day I'd work at Kinkos thank you very much.

Some stories are longer than the standard comic, not all books are made to be put out on a monthly schedule you see but you can't bind them the same way with staples because the extra pages would cause the book to fall apart. Hence the book binding.

And because it looks like a book it must be better right?

I don't want to be bitter sounding here, really I don't. I just wish people wouldn't assume the format automatically means better or more mature content. I've read some truly beautiful, mature stories in individual issues of comic books and I've read some real dogs in the bound format (and felt ripped off by the price I paid for all the extra production involved).

A crappy movie on a plasma screen is still a crappy movie after all.

So anyway, challenging interview, wish I was more articulate on the matter.

This afternoon: Birthday party for Kat! Happy Birthday Kat!

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