Friday, February 19, 2010

More on the great blogger Abstract Comics debate

Kent Worcester comments on some remarks in Craig Fischer and Derik Badman's discussion.

Derik responds.

If people would like to keep going with this, may I make a suggestion? I would love to see actual close analysis of a single piece, especially one that works for you (or one that doesn't, fine, but to me that would be less interesting). If the proof is in the pudding, let's figure out what's in the pudding that makes it tasty. I would tell but I've already cooked parts of the meal, not to mention catered the whole dinner.

However, I will be so vain as to point out Jog's earlier analysis of my piece, "Expedition to the Interior" , which struck me as particularly well done. Similarly, I really appreciated Charles Hatfield's analysis of the design and overall arrangement of the anthology. Again, it may be vain to praise a critic for totally getting what you were trying to do--but, well, he did. (Now, I have a few problems with his last couple of paragraphs--namely, his view of abstract comics' place in the wider world of comics, view which results from his wider and, I would argue, too restrictive definition of comics--but I don't know if I have the energy to address that any further. I've already discussed the issue with him in some of the comments to my earlier posts here, and I'd be just repeating myself.)


  1. The value of Abstract Comics, in addition to providing interesting works to look at, is that it raises questions about much of what many of us take for granted about comics. These discussions convince me that Abstract Comics continues to do this work.

    But yes, please, bring on the close analysis of particular pieces!

  2. some questions:
    how little information can you give on a page, & still give the reader the idea that it should be read as comics?

    how deformed &/or non-rectilinear can frames be, & still suggest a sequence?

    I feel as if Rosaire Appel & I are approaching abstract comics from outside, zapping Petri dishes with cultures, & observing what grows. sometimes these colonies are comfortable for comics readers to read.

    my pseudocomics ( were attempts to make things which resemble comics, but so whacked-out that people's usual reading & interpreting habits are short-circuited.

  3. Tim--I'll just say that I'm not so sure I want to buy into a rhetoric of approaching comics from inside or outside... For most comics readers, all abstract comics come from the outside.


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