Thanks for all the great emails yesterday, people. They are much appreciated.
§ MUST READ: More on Neil Cohn’s experiments in how comics are read. He actually put electrodes on people’s brains to figure this out.
Cohn says any language has a “holy triumvirate” of elements: expressive form, grammar, and meaning. Comics, he argues, meet all three requirements. Their expressive form is the visual strip. Their grammatical structure consists of a basic vocabulary (such as stink lines or speech bubbles) and a syntax (a hierarchical panel structure). And, when done right, the images have a semantic relationship–a clear message.
Damn straight. (Seriously, this is very important research!!!)
§ Sales analyst John Mayo asks Are Event Title Sales Cooling? but I wasn’t sure of the answer. However he provides lots of charts that you can study for your own edification.
§ Did I already link to Dan Kois’s comics-containing Best novels and children’s books of 2013? Not sure any more.
§ Zainab digs into James Stokoe’s Godzilla, which is indeed a mighty comic:
A couple of disclaimers before we start: 1) It is impossible to put into words the unfettered wonderment that James Stokoe’s art begets. Hence every time I use an inadequate superlative, bear in mind that it is sadly incapable of fulfilling its basic function and multiply any effect it may have by at least 4- yes, let’ go with 4. 2) This piece is spoilery, if you haven’t read the book yet. There’s not a huge ‘this way or that way’ in terms of plot, but events do go in particular directions, and knowing that in advance may affect your enjoyment of the story.
§ Hm. An analysis of beefcake in the movies:
Beefcake is a bone the movie industry throws to straight and bisexual women, to make the sausage-fest blockbusters something that they can sit through. And a lot of straight men enjoy seeing ripped guys showing off their physiques; it’s projection fantasy if not sexual fantasy, filling the same niche as the steroid-body boom of the 1980s (Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Van Damme, etc.), and entertainment like mixed martial arts and professional wrestling.
§ After linking to A Christmas Carol yesterday, I browsed his list of the First Classics Illustrated line. Everyone remembers Sienkiewicz’s Moby Dick, but what about Rick Geary’s Wuthering Heights? That was a pretty swell line.
§ So people are sad that they won’t be able to promote themselves via Facebook unless they pay any more. That’s the problem with all these amazing free tools we’ve been taking for granted….they can just go away.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.