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Progress on the Comics Front

Several months ago (yeah, I'm too lazy to find the precise post), I asked people what I was missing about the great big world o' comics - why I found little interest in them, what I could do to learn more about them, even basics about how people physically read them (pictures first?  words first?  gestalt-ish glance?)

Many people responded, and a couple of folks recommended Scott McCloud's UNDERSTANDING COMICS.  stevendj  even volunteered to lend me his copy of that book.  I took him up on the loan, and we met for tea a couple of months ago.  Steven went above and beyond the call of mostly-online friendship - he not only brought the McCloud book, but he brought a sampling of other comics, explaining to me why he'd selected the ones that he had, how they loosely fit into an overall scheme of the field -- and that was it.  He didn't tell me which he liked and which he didn't, which "worked" for him and which didn't, etc.

And then, even more of a kindness, he followed up with me a couple of weeks ago, which encouraged me to get off my procrastinatory butt to read the carefully shelved loans.

I *loved* the McCloud book.  (For those who don't know it - it's formatted as a comic (or as McCloud would say, as a comics - singular noun ending in s, a usage to which I can't give kudos..., at least yet), providing an "art history" take on comics, what they are, how they can be read, how they've been innovated, where they might go...)  I understood his step-by-step analysis, and the way he wrote made sense to my amateur art aficianado brain.

I also *loved* the Lucifer sample that Steven lent me.  I enjoyed AstroCity.  I was sweetly amused by Tom Beland's Trust Story.  And I was meh on a lot of the other options - either because I didn't have enough cultural touch points (for Lone Wolf and Cub) or appreciation for the style of art or I got out of the wrong side of the bed, or....

In any case, I've now borrowed many more comics from Steven, and my education will progress.  (I've also discovered that salty oatmeal cookies are a great afternoon diversion - they serve great ones at the tea house where Steven and I met.)

So - I'm not a complete convert, by any means, but I feel like I'm *beginning* to have a vocabulary for some of this stuff....

Mindy, who obviously needs to quit writing so that she has enough time to read.

ETA:  Mostly edited chapters 1 and 2 yesterday, of Wish 2, so not much word count change:
________________________________________________________________________________________________

Progress on As You Wish Series, Volume 2 (soon to be named!)

 
8734 / 100,000 words. 8.7% done!


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( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
mindyklasky
Nov. 17th, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
::making notes:: Thanks for the recs!
lizziebelle
Nov. 14th, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I might have to check that book out. I have to confess that I really don't get comics, but so many of my friends are avid fans and keep bugging me to read this or that.
mindyklasky
Nov. 17th, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
Ah, we have so much in common... :-)
stevendj
Nov. 14th, 2008 03:47 pm (UTC)
Actually, McCloud would say "as a comic"; the singular form is sometimes correct, when you're talking about a specific comic. It can get confusing, because the exact same thing can be singular or plural, depending on context: the Sandman comic (if you're considering the series as a whole) or Sandman comics (if you're considering the series as a set of individual issues). And the medium is "comics", singular, so you would say "Comics is" in exactly the context you might say "Art is" or "Film is". ("Comics" is also plural, so you might also say "Comics are" the way you would say "Films are".)

The Tom Beland comic is called True Story, Swear to God, by the way. I found the omnibus about five minutes after you left. (And Astro City is spelled with a space.)

It's fun picking out comics and finding out what you think of them. I've got a couple of ideas of comics for you to try, but I don't want to weigh you down with too many at once. I forgot to ask your reaction to the humor comics—did those work for you at all?

I forgot to ask what you thought of the humor comics.
mindyklasky
Nov. 17th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
Aha - thanks for the singular/plural explanation.

And I had meant to type "Tom Beland's TRUE story" but it came out TRUST.

As for the humor - PS 238 didn't resonate for me. I could see *what* was being done, but it just didn't strike me as funny (enough.) I suspect that part of that is my lack of reading in traditional superhero comics.

::eyeing large back of comics:: Thanks for the continued recommendations and loans!
stevendj
Nov. 18th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
You might like future volumes of PS 238 more—it becomes more of a continuing serial—but a lot of the jokes do presume knowledge of the superhero genre. It's my favorite humor comic, but a risky one for a novice. (To be frank, I didn't expect you to 'get' it, but I thought it was worth a try.)

But I also wanted to know what you thought of the Disney comics, whether the long-form Donald Duck adventures were long enough to satisfy you.

I've thought of a few more books to try you on, but I'll keep them as a surprise until our next meeting.
mindyklasky
Nov. 18th, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
Actually, PS 238 was intriguing because of one of my *own* writing projects (one of the many Super Secrets going on around here).

As for the Disney - they felt most like Sunday newspaper strips to me, and least like "art" or "storytelling". I suspect I was inherently biased against them because of Mark's hatred of all things Disney. (I was, though, struck by how beautifully sparse most of the panels are!)

Humor is really, really tricky, and my sense of humor is quite narrow. (I often refer to myself as a humorless bitch, because I don't laugh at a lot of things other people find riotous.)
allaboutm_e
Nov. 14th, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC)
We used a lot of McCloud's material in the project my kid's 4-H group did on comics. :)
mindyklasky
Nov. 17th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
Um, which "H" covers comics?!? :-)
allaboutm_e
Nov. 17th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
"Head," I suppose. There are a surprising number of fine arts project options...
mindyklasky
Nov. 18th, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
And times change... And fewer calves are raised for judging... (Going to the Minnesota State Fair for several years on end, I was always intrigued by the earnest 4-H'ers displaying their projects.)
coppervale
Nov. 14th, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC)
I still owe you a book for the X-FILES tapes... so I'm boxing up a copy of INDIGO KING and all six of my STARCHILD graphic novels for you. Hope you like them!

mindyklasky
Nov. 17th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, oh, oh - I can't *wait*!
gritsinmisery
Nov. 14th, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC)
Dittos on the Sandman reccy, and also Stan Lee's The Dark Knight (which has nothing to do w/ the film, thankyouverymuch.)
mindyklasky
Nov. 17th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
I never assume that *any* film version of *anything* has the faintest relationship to that original anything :-)
allaboutm_e
Nov. 17th, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
Um, Stan may be the Man... but The Dark Knight is Frank Miller.
gritsinmisery
Nov. 17th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
Dur. I'd blame the alcohol, but y'know, I don't touch the stuff. *winks*
silverstorm
Nov. 15th, 2008 04:03 am (UTC)
I must have missed that post! Someone may have brought her to your attention previosuly, however, one of my favourite artists also does a cute little comic called "Digger". Her name is Ursula Vernon, and aside from being a really imaginative artist she's also downright hilarious. Her site is here and she also has a Livejournal where the most recent entry is also on her love of comics. I felt it had to be kismet that you both posted about it, so here I am plugging her stuff :)
mindyklasky
Nov. 17th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
Off to see more, read more, learn more :-)
karyn5101969
Nov. 15th, 2008 06:15 am (UTC)
I happen to LOVE Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight that Joss Whedon is doing right now in comic form. It Rocks. As does Angel: After the Fall. And Spike. And Doctor Who: The Forgotten. Battlestar Galactica is awesome too. Try comics that are based on your fave TV show and go from there. Totally awesome!
mindyklasky
Nov. 17th, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
Hmmm... I actually don't watch a lot of SF tv, so those comics would be a whole new worldbuilding experience for me. Not that there's anything wrong with that :-)
karyn5101969
Nov. 18th, 2008 09:24 am (UTC)
You would be surprised at what they have in the comic universe. Go into any good comic store, tell the guys at the back (they're the ones who actually KNOW what's going on) that you're exploring this universe, and tell them what types of TV and books you watch/ read. They'll be able to lead to right to the good stuff that will have you jonesing for more.

Trust me. I will not lead you astray.
mindyklasky
Nov. 18th, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)
Famous last words... :-)

I can see that I'll *never* have time to clear my to-be-read shelf :-)
scbutler
Nov. 15th, 2008 02:21 pm (UTC)
The McCloid book is excellent. And if you're looking for more comics to try, there's always Batman - the Dark Knight Returns, and od course Spiegelman's Maus books.
mindyklasky
Nov. 17th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
The Washington Post just had a long article about Spiegelman - more fuel to the literary fire...

So, what do you think will happen if I miss a deadline or three, because I was busy reading?!?
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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