200802271426New York Mag’s Vulture bloginterviews Jeff Smith today and they bring up where he sees himself on the spectrum of comics:

[Q:]This fall, a mini-debate popped up on comics Websites about the Best American Comics anthology. Heidi MacDonald, who writes the Beat, asked why more of the comics in that book didn’t tell great stories, and she specifically cited you as the kind of writer who is conspicuously absent from anthologies like this. And the debate about Bone in particular is continuing even this week. Do you think that there really is still a great split in the comics world between art comics and pop comics?

[A:] Yeah, I do. I’m not sure I’m too concerned about it. When you work in comics, you’re kind of used to lines in the sand. From the time you’re a kid, you’re kind of raised in this either/or type of a mind-set with comics: If you like Marvel comics, you can’t like DC comics. If you like superhero comics, you can’t like indie comics. There’s kind of like — I believe — a false dichotomy which puts a Chris Ware at one end and Bone at the other. But I don’t think one is more valid than the other. What are you going to do? It’s high art versus low art. You’ve got Chris Ware, who is Beethoven, and you have me. I’m the Beatles. One’s not better than the other. They’re just making different music.

If this doesn’t settle it, this isn’t the internet.



  1. I for one don’t care whether comics come from DC, Marvel or any other publishing house one can name. As long as they are good I read ’em.

  2. Hmmm. And look where classical music is today. The memorable music is produced for movies, television, and musicals, and popmusicians like McCartney and Joel dabble in the medium. Notable living composers are either expirementing with the technical aspects, like Cage, or producing historical operas, like Adams.
    Ware is Beethoven, Smith is Mozart. One is brooding, introverted, genius; one is extroverted, showman, genius.
    Me? I’m PDQ Bach…

  3. Ware is the anonymous, self-loathing, self-parody that pops into existence & is then forgotten. Ware is Britney Spears. Bone is Cinderella. It is cute that Smith doesn’t understand it, but he wrote a fairytale that, with any luck, might just stick.

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