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Alvy Ampersand (2)

I wouldn't say craft is the enemy, but it's no friend of mine

"I just felt suddenly like I had to write and say craft is the enemy! You could labor your whole life perfecting your “craft,” struggling to draw better, hoping one day to have the skills to produce a truly great comic. If this is how you’re thinking, you will never produce this great comic, this powerful work of art, that you dream of. There’s nothing wrong with trying to draw well, but that is not of primary importance." -- Back in 1996 a young James Kochalka made a name for himself by writing a screed against craftmanship to The Comic Journal's letterpage. Now the whole exchange, including responses by Jim Woodring and Scott McCloud, is online at the Journal's website.
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 6, 2013 - 46 comments

Invasion of the Literaries

We might not get laughed out of the room, but the question is: would we want to be stuck in it with some guy who would ask: Since we already have Aristophanes, who needs Kurtzman? Since we have Erasmus of Rotterdam, why would we want Steve Martin? With Wagner still available, who cares about the Firehouse Five? Furthermore, would we let that guy organize the party music?

What appears at first to be taking a more stringent view is in fact applying irrelevant criteria. It dismantles the idea of a comic and leaves the parts hopelessly undone.
Eddie Campbell on fallacies of comics criticism.
posted by rollick on Feb 7, 2013 - 18 comments

The Baron does these things

In Issue 391 of the Batman magazine published by Editorial Novaro there is a Flash adventure titled "The Flash Stakes His Life On You." This comic is the most important literary argument of recent months. The Flash vs. Gurdjieff by Alejandro Jodorowsky. bonus craziness: The comics journal talks to Alejandro Jodorowsky (Sample answer: "This question is too long and annoying for me. I stop to fart.")
posted by Artw on Oct 6, 2011 - 27 comments

"Be Gentle. It's My First Time."

Cartoonist and teacher James Sturm takes a crack at The New Yorker. Via [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand on Aug 24, 2011 - 45 comments

The Rise and Fall of the Comic Industry's Direct Market and Other Stories

"Since their birth early in the century, comic books had been regarded as a kind of junior magazine and allowed to occupy space on the shelves or spinner racks of newsstands, grocery stores, drugstores, dime stores, and sometimes even bookstores. They caught on quickly and, initially, more than earned their place in those venues, but after the 1940s, the comics industry experienced more downs than ups. The Marvel-led resurgence of the 1960s had foundered by the 1970s to the point where extinction seemed like a real possibility. Comics retailer (and former distributor) Steve Schanes put it succinctly: 'Comics were on their last breath. They couldn’t have lasted another four years.'"

Part One: Fine Young Cannibals: How Phil Seuling and a Generation of Teenage Entrepreneurs Created the Direct Market and Changed the Face of Comics [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand on Feb 21, 2010 - 51 comments

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