What is the ritualistic behaviour to following ongoing series? Whether you’re reading each new installment of Spider-man or faithfully watching Game of Thrones, you engage in a recurring communion with a fiction. Is it an effort to manifest — not the dead, but a world only alive in the period you spend with it? Or is it a weekly playdate with imaginary friends? Is there a difference?

See also Lynda Barry: The answer is in the image (youtube)

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Here’s a thought about comics being far too many things to make any sense

Indeed, “comics” as a social artifact refers to numerous qualities, including 1) physical objects (strips and books), 2) a collection of genres, 3) an industry, 4) a culture/community, and others that are all tied to a context of the modern era. On the other hand, sequential images do create a language: a “visual language” that combines with text to be used within those social objects called “comics.”“Comics” are not this visual language. “Comics” are a social object written in a visual language that combines with text. If novels or magazines are written in English, why should “comics” be a language, instead of be written in a language?

– Neil Cohn, reviewing Thierry Groensteen’s The system of comics here.

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You won’t believe it’s not comics! Post by @comics212

Re: what’s comics and what isn’t, Chris Butcher wrote an insightful piece on trench digging and Othering within mainstream comics:

The success of [the early manga publications in the West was] the proof to the theories that comics could be for everyone, for women and for girls especially, and could sell in numbers that were comparable to how they sold overseas. […]
So how did the rest of the comics industry react to this sea-change? In the pettiest way possible of course, by othering the success of that material as much as they could. “Manga aren’t comics,” went the discussion.

Go, read.

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The untold stories of material

Received a letter in the mail, informing me that a creditor had done a financial background check. I wish I got more of these, the credit company line the envelopes in a deep dark blue that I use in my collages whenever I can. When I was at the state monopoly liquor store I grabbed…

Morning sermon from @therealkim__

too many superheros in comics studies. please write fan reviews on superhero forum, not on scholarly journals.

— @therealkim__, at 30 Jun 08:31, and

i want #comics to lose the burden of narrative and study its own spaces: pages, representations on pages, grids, lines, colors, pixels etc.


Thank you, and I’d extend this to comics reviews. Comics are exciting as hell on a purely formal level, the endless line of superhero soaps… dramatically less so.

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Your weekend assignment

Well, I’m taking the weekend off. Going to a wedding in that woman’s family, and I’ll save my phone battery for drunken emergency calls. I leave you with this until Monday, though:


Discuss (hint: it’s not about “freedom of expression”).

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Here’s a thought about meaning in comics, from @badgetoon

Abstract comics are a pure challenge to the artist; make something interesting within the structure of the comic, a grid, and shapes. Using the form of repeating shapes and varying them based on my own pull and aesthetic. The shape of course is based off of the human form and my weekly life drawing practice. So I’m not just repeating myself but looking outside of my own head.

Subject matter is really where meaning has been thought of in comics. Superman is Superman no matter how differently he’s drawn. Written subject matter is what everyone focuses on in comics, the form rarely gets touched. Visual content never ever even gets acknowledged as existing. I’ve never been to obsessed with costumes and the what do you do when you’re in a costume. But I’ve been pretty damn obsessed with the actual form of comics, what those shapes and images are on the page. 

—Mark Badger, in the third part of his Comics Bulletin interview.

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