§ Ben Towle argues what many felt about the STITCHES National Book Award nomination — it’s nice that such a fine book was recognized, but putting an adult memoir in the kids section just because it’s a graphic novel, isn’t all that progressive and reveals a gap in the Comics Revolution:
My point is straightforward: until there’s a sizable adult readership for comics/graphic novels which do not derive their appeal from a factual/memoir-based connection to their narratives, comics cannot be said to have truly “arrived” as an art form. Yes there are a number of GNs that have sold well in the mass market, but the vast majority of them rely on the novelty of some kind of appeal to events or circumstances beyond simply a well-crafted narrative to do so: the author’s tragic childhood (Stitches, Fun Home, Blankets), the author’s personal involvement in political strife and/or war (MAUS, Palestine, Persepolis), the author’s tragedy in adulthood (Cancer Vixen, various other cancer-related books), etc. (And of course, there are things like Watchmen that “regular people” will buy when movies are made of them.) Where is the readership, though, for general fiction GNs? Beyond comics folk, I’d say it’s in the realm of very small to non-existent.
If you’re a librarian, professor, teacher, or scholarly fan, the Comics Studies Conference wants to hear from you. The CSC invites proposals for scholarly presentations, book talks, slide talks, roundtables, professional-focus panels, workshops and other panels centered on sequential art and comics in any form (graphic novels, comic strips, comic books, manga, web comics, etc.), comics-centric works, or adaptations of comics materials, genres, or figures into other media for its first annual meeting, held in conjunction with C2E2.
§ A few more details on that Bradleys cartoon pilot, which Peter Bagge we co-write.
§ Benjamin Marra is a cartoonist who’s been getting a lot of attention in certain circles, and after you read this interview, you may see why:
Har. I dig your sarcasm. I do include fans of indie, autobio comics as fans or potential fans of Night Business. But I hope that they’ll read it and never admit to anyone or themselves that it secretly touches them in a place they love and yearn to be touched. Yes, I am making a statement to indie comic fans. My statement is indie comics don’t always have to be indulgent, pitying, self-analyses of despair, sadness and self-importance. There’s a broader spectrum of emotions and story ideas out there I’m trying to explore in comics, like, lust, rage, revenge, violence, street justice, drug abuse, nudity and sexiness. The sum of which is Exploitation. To be clear, I don’t think that all indie comics are as I’ve described. It’s the indie comic stereotype – that is well anchored in reality – that Night Business is a reaction to.