Do you have to want to be a cartoonist in order to make comics?
Or can making comics be more like singing along to a song when we are alone for no reason other than it gives us something (almost undetectable) that not singing doesn’t?
Or can making comics be more like using a salt and pepper shaker to show your friend just where your car was in relation to the other car when the accident happened?
What if people thought of making comics as another good way to sort certain things out?
Lynda Barry, on her tumblr
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