Wednesday, July 18, 2012

On Comics

Fed up of superhero films? Hiding your copy of Watchmen behind The Economist on the train? Comics are a serious literary form as well as being fun, says the author of a new book on Batman.

From an interview on the Browser...

Do you feel the spate of films based on comic books over the last decade has done comics a service or disservice?
Actually, my impression is that comics are a minority pursuit again, just a research project for film producers. Films and video games are so much bigger. Marvel considers comics a sideline now, and there’s not much feedback from the films to the comics. The Avengers has taken more than a billion dollars at the box office, but I doubt that many of the people who saw it then bought any of the original comic books.

So why should we read comics? What’s the appeal?
They are a unique storytelling medium. They can tell a story in a way that no other medium can. But I’m not evangelical about comics, and I don’t have a problem if they’re a niche interest. There was a time in the eighties when everyone thought comics were going to break through. They were sold in bookshops. “Sequential art”, “post-textual literature” and all kinds of other pretentious terms were bandied about. I don’t think that’s necessary. Comics are their own thing, and work on their own terms, in different ways to novels and films.

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