Comics remain between the categories of bourgeois aesthetics. They are neither literature nor art. They lack the depth of a novel, the richness of a painting, the density of a poem, the detailedness of a photograph, and the motion of film. That all this is missing is only natural; otherwise comics would not be comics. But they do not really lack these specifics of other media. Comics emerge from a mixture. As Art Spiegelman once put it: comics are a com-mix, a mixture of words and images (Spiegelman 1988: 61f). As most people maintain, comics seen as commix contain rather too much than too little: too much is mixed up; there are too many series; and there are too many funny and funny moments.
By Ole Frahm, published on Image [&] Narrative way back in 2003.
I hope mr Frahm has gotten a broader perspective since then but, to be honest, even though I was taken aback by his opinion when I first read the essay, it does cover between 90 and 95 % of all comics published, then and now. Continue reading