Of all the panels at San Diego the one we most wanted to see podcast or transcribed or whatever was COMICS ARE NOT LITERATURE and now Newsarama has a report by Zack Smith, although two of the participants have already said it isn’t entirely accurate. Dammit, we should have been there.
Wolk criticized comics written by Joss Whedon, saying that, “the artists can’t create great actors on the page,” that is, people who bring extra layers to the characters the way a flesh-and-blood actor could. “You’re just reading a script with a bunch of crappy pictures on it – but it’s a great script,” Wolk said.
Wolk asked Grossman, who had brought some prepared statements, about whether there was anything in the definition of “sophistication” that could be useful to comics.
“One of the downsides of thinking of comics as a ‘low art,’ is that it makes you lazy,” Grossman said. “Let’s raise the game.”
Castellucci and Ryan agreed. “It’s about having a set of critical tools, and what you use the tools on is wherever people are making good stories,” Ryan said.
“Why don’t we just call it art?” Nadel said. “Sometimes cinema is art, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes a Bjork record is art, sometimes it’s not…” Castellucci and Ryan interjected that a Bjork album is always art.
Nadel went on to propose that he didn’t consider comics reading. “Why is that a big deal?” he asked. “Comics is about looking and reading. It’s not just about reading – it’s a dual process. It’s different from reading a novel, and it’s different from watching a movie.”
Douglas tells us he didn’t mention Joss Whedon specifically, and Cecil has her own footnotes.
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