I posted this on the Team Weird Comics tumblr some days ago, but I thought I’d bring it home, so to speak. The Team doesn’t just moan on Twitter about how bad mainstream comics are, we also do it in private email correspondence. Eventually, a voice of some constructive spirit suggested that we actually try and do it better ourselves. And, as some incentive to actually get it done, we should do it as a joint project, each interpreting a spread (or consecutive page pair) from some really shitty superhero comic. Say, Daredevil #275.
And so it was agreed. I hung a sheet of paper on my studio wall and threw some paint and scrap paper on it when I felt frustrated or annoyed with the other unpaid work I do. A couple of moths later, here we are. To be honest, I have no idea how the others (Derik, Warren Craghead, Simon Moreton, and Oliver East) have fared with their pieces, but I’ll link to them here when I find out. They’ll likely be better (but less hateful) than mine. In the meantime, feast your eyes on the sorry piece of shizzle I had to work from:
So I’ve been looking enviously at Warren & Derik‘s colour pieces for 30 Days of Comics, and to play it safe (?) I leaned on Derik’s method of using photos for colours. Not sure if/how it worked out, but it certainly is an experiment!
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.
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 →