I don’t “draw” comics… I make comics. I write the stories, I plan them, I draw and paint them, and that process is — for me — totally indivisible.
The reason is if you look at the generation now in power in the entertainment industry, they grew up with comics as serious stuff. The geeks have won.
Buying comics as an investment is highly speculative. If you buy from dealers, you’ll pay roughly twice the resale value and, if collectors’ tastes change, resale value could drop.
I would love us to do something with Will Smith, but I don’t know that he’s Captain America. That would be a long shot. It would be a real leap to make Captain America black… then again, I don’t know. It might be a really smart thing. If Barack Obama becomes President who knows… suddenly a lot of our characters will be black!
Webcomics are beginning to settle down a bit as a medium, but the possibilities of but the possibilities of hypercomics are still wide open. It’s a medium that needs more creators willing to try out every different crazy idea they can, so that we can find out what works and what doesn’t.
Ever since the release of “Watchmen,” I’ve seen a lot of people and critics continuously belittling the film. I come before you now to say: really? You’re saying that “Watchmen” was disappointing? Now, let’s be clear. Yes, the graphic novel was better. Of course it was. The book is always better.
Every atom of every object of every scene is malleable by the [comic book] artist: hair, furniture, cars, trees can all be bent and twisted and arranged for compositional purposes or emotional impact. No other art form so fully steeps the viewer in the personal world of the artist.
When I was 5, I was in a car with my dad and he mentioned that there was this Batman TV show in America about a man who dressed up in a costume and fought crime. The only bat I ever knew was a cricket bat, so what I thought he looked like was rather odd, based on that. Months later, the series hit the U.K., and I remember watching and being affected by it. Really worrying, genuinely worrying, on a deep primal level, “Will he be OK?”
Blacks and women were second-class citizens in comic books of the postwar decade — blacks, because they were either seldom seen or servile; women, because they depended so frequently upon the good offices of men.
Cartoon pictures affect memory and sight simultaneously, sort of blurring the line between the two, and if carefully balanced can provide an experience which is both internal as well as “theatrical”.
What I loved about Batman was his total lack of awareness when it came to his interaction with the outside world.
The comics scene, ignored by serious lit lovers for decades, has stockpiled a vast amount of fiction, much of it aimed at adults. Suddenly, that material seems to have reached critical mass, and even the snootiest readers have realised they’ve been missing something.
A comic book artist has to tell the story with the right emphasis and yet as efficiently as possible, because you only have so many frames on a page. That’s really intriguing to me because the director of a film also has the same problem. But a comic artist has to get everyone in the frame, as well as the dialogue and have there be a kind of logic to it all. It’s complex and I find it fascinating.
Comic artists have in my experience the toughest, least regarded, poorest paid most isolating and labor-intensive art-related job you can get. We have, without question, to be able to draw anything. Literally.
As comic books are a perfect medium for serial fiction, there is often the temptation to keep running a comic book series long after it’s lived out its welcome.
RZA [rapper] explains the relationship between rappers and comic book characters in The Wu-Tang Manual, saying that growing up with a single parent in the projects, kids often want to imagine a powerful, protective second self. They read comic books and want to find the super-hero within.
Manga [in Japan] are utilized as a diversionary and escapist “play” that “works” to relieve everyday tensions and thereby replenish a person’s energy so that he or she can, for example, return to work is a standard functionalist explanation of comic reading in general.
Even when I read other people’s comics, I’m inclined to skip some of lines of dialogue. So I abbreviate it as much as possible in my work.
When I’m doing drawings, I feel like I have all these other people’s drawing inside of me that I’m trying to fight to find my drawing. A lot of my drawings are weirdo combinations of these millions of different artists that I like.
Comic books and graphic novels have taken the field of children’s literature by storm and, while doing so, have established themselves as a medium that is not just alluring, but educationally valuable.
Not being able to play games when I was a kid, I developed defenses. I’d say, “I hate sports, I’m going to go to the movies, or stay home and do my story board”. I drew my own stories, like comic books, and I do that with my movies now.
He [Roy Lichtenstein] was also fascinated by the “language” of comics, the juxtaposition of words or word balloons with an image set within a defined frame, and the way that stereotypic images and the mechanical use of colour could convey powerful emotions.
Comic books are still comic books. But if you bind them and slap on an ISBN number, you have a graphic novel, a phrase that, sadly, has nothing to do with Henry Miller or Erica Jong.
A six-page spread by Jim Lee with Batman beating the smile off the Joker’s face is the four-color equivalent of Keith Richards’s opening guitar blast on ”Satisfaction”. I couldn’t resist when I was a kid. I can’t resist now.
Breaking into comics is like breaking into a high-tech military compound. The first thing they do after discovering you got in is go seal up your entrance so no one can ever break in that way again.
The French comic industry takes itself way too seriously. They consider themselves big artists but once you adopt that attitude, it’s the beginning of the end.
My work is certainly not the stuff bestsellers are made of, but rather what I myself would like to read.
Comic books reigned supreme among the new mass- market media of the 1940s. For sheer entertainment value, they had almost every other media outlet beat. Unlike radio, comic books could actually show the action being described by the narrator. Unlike theater, comic books could take you to other worlds, other dimensions. Unlike movies, comic books were always in vibrant, living color, and budgetary restrictions weren’t an issue given that the special effects department consisted of a penciler, an inker, and a colorist who were limited only by their imaginations.
I like “comics” or “comic book”. I only use “graphic novel” when talking to a layperson when I need shorthand for what I do. It’s not a great term, but it’s not terrible. It feels like people who are embarrassed by comics are in the minority these days.
With all the graphic diversity, explosiveness, and expressiveness in our midst, one might make the false assumption that comic books are more popular today than ever before. What’s bitterly ironic is that while comic books, superheroes, and comic book art itself have never been more influential in American pop culture — witness the boom in Hollywood superhero movies — the readership of the comics themselves has bottomed out to levels that, in a prior era, would have sounded the death knell for countless titles.
I think (hope) that the word “webcomic” will be abolished and we can just start calling every thing a comic.
I realized that comics was the medium I could work in, because it had no limitations and it encompassed aspects of every other medium.
Comics were the most glowing thing I found around me. [Reading them] was like peeking into, not just the world, but into the brains of the people who made that world.
I used to draw comic books and in these comic books I’m sure I was projecting myself in various heroic characterizations. These comic books were pretty well-developed. I would spend the entire summer emulating the comics, the funny papers.
Comic art is thus a literary medium in transition from mass popularity and cultural disdain to a new respectability as a means of expression and communication, and this new respect is evident first in the attitudes of the creators themselves.
I was very much a “tunnel vision” kind of kid. I was really bad in school. I had no interest in it. I didn’t like sports. I wasn’t into model cars, or anything like that. I was into movies and comic books. And monster magazines.
In the past, publishing our own comics, we’d need the funds to pay for printing and distribution and we’d always insist on a high quality of production. What we have now [with webcomics], is the ability to access a wider audience for no print cost, just our time.
The thing that I really liked about Batman as a comic book property was that they’re all fucked-up characters — that’s what’s so beautiful about them.
I don’t care how big your Hollywood budget is, there are still things that comics can do that no other medium will be able to do — not the least of which is hand the pace at which a story is absorbed over to the reader totally, making comics a subtly but truly interactive experience in a way not often defined.
One of the more surprising areas in which the Web is outshining its competition is in the medium of comics. Webcomics have quickly become a boom business, allowing a variety of talented individuals with widely varying styles to get their work to a large readership.
Webcomics are like Jelly Bellies, in that once you try one, you want to try every flavor, because you’re just that excited about a popcorn-flavored jelly bean and you’re just as curious about pear.
Comic books, conversely, are a hybrid form that combines the use of extensive dialogue and well-developed plots characteristic of written literature with the visuals of graphic arts. As a result, they are called graphic narratives.
We’re trying to say this guy [Batman] is obviously nuts, but in the most appealing way possible. I go back to what I thought comic books gave people. People love the idea that once they dress up, they can become somebody else. And here you have a human being in what I would consider the most absurd costume ever created.
Comics tend to label things: if you’re a colorist, then you’re just a colorist and you can have problems convincing people that you can do something else.
One thing I realized (along the way) is that there is absolutely no need to kiss ass and be overly friendly in comics, especially at Marvel. Just do the best job you can do and do it on time and you’ll get rewarded for it.
The medium has become the message; comics take either a hard line or a soft line, simplifying human feelings and behaviour to suit mass taste.
If you like superheroes even a bit, but have never stepped foot into a comic shop, you are doing yourself a disservice. It’s a feeling that is hard to describe, there is a calm within the store, not unlike a library. Everyone inside is a fan of the medium, something that can’t be said for the other stores that sell comics.
It’s odd, but the art world denigrates illustration and comic strips. A year ago, the French magazine Beaux-Arts published some stories about the comic strip festival held in the southwestern city of Angoulême. The lead article kicked off by warning readers that just because the editors were publishing a special section about comic strips it didn’t necessarily mean they considered them to be art.
The appeal of comics to children and adolescents is simple: comics are easy and fun to read; they have simple vocabularies, few pages, stock characters, heroes worth idolizing, and exciting, action-packed stories.
Condescended to by critics as juvenile fare, American comic books have long existed in a cultural limbo,that is until Hollywood began turning superheroes into movie stars.
I’m fascinated by the “reality” of comic book characters like Superman and Batman, who are really much bigger than we are. They’ll be around when we’re dead. In fact, they were around before most of us were even alive.
Like [Alan] Moore, I’m just not seeing very many cartoonists writing and drawing the graphic novels that are going to carry the banner for comics-as-art or comics-as-literature into this new century. And I think we as critics do the medium a disservice when we overpraise work that’s “good for what it is”. If comics really can be as artful as the best movies or the best novels, than lets demand that they be so, rather than passing out trophies just for participating.
Comic books account for about 80 percent of all printed material in Mexico, considerably more than books and newspapers combined. Critics argue that the simplistic, sensationalistic, melodramatic style of most historietas — combined in recent years with generous servings of violence and quasi-pornography — panders to baser instincts, undermines family values, and encourages the introduction of foreign cultural symbols like El Pato Donald (Donald Duck) and Superman.
Comics have become icons of time past, collected “like the relics of saints” by men reaching for irretrievable boyhood.
“Graphic novel” seems to be putting on a tuxedo where a nice suit would have done just fine, but I’m sure we could have done worse.
Strips and comic books are not true folk art. You can call them “folksy” perhaps, in the sense that the “folks” certainly do pass, every day, on their right to survive, do make choices and indicate favorites. But the people do not create them. The strips are of the people and for the people, but they are not by the people. They are written and drawn by individuals with individual ideas, or by small groups with small-group ideas.
Sequential art isn’t great art, or profound. But it is sophisticated, engaging us in a way that other visual genres cannot. And within its limited format, it allows for a lot of variety and interpretation.
I understand that the battle over what’s appropriate content for a story featuring an iconic super-hero has long-since been lost. Any lingering notion that the D.C. universe is family-friendly went out the window when Dr. Light raped Sue Dibny. These days, as near as I can tell, darkness is the rule, not the exception.
I wanted the violence to hurt – to actually have some consequence, I suppose that was just a reaction to comic books in general, super hero comic books. They beat the s**t out of each other with no consequences at all.
The secret of being a successful comic book editor is the same as being a successful movie director: you hire the right people.
I’m inclined to think of comics as a kind of temporal map, a way of substituting space for time, of mapping out a temporal progression in 2-D or 3-D space.
It’s interesting that somebody might decide suddenly that we [cartoonists] have a social significance or not. But, we’re not in business for that purpose. We’re in business to sell newspapers, and the criticism, acceptance, or whatever, lies in the fact that we are in hundreds of newspapers, and that the readership of something like Peanuts is in the millions every day
For me, the only essential question of a superhero universe — and a good superhero story — is not “How did that happen?” or “Why did that happen?” but “What happens next ?!!!”.
The persistent devaluation of comic books within the broader culture coincides with the cultural image of their immature audience. Because of this coincidence, the real or imagined reader plays a pivotal role in the formation (and transformation) of comic book value — within and especially beyond the comic book medium.
I’d come to Paris to work on a bande dessinée; it wasn’t a form I could have fooled with in New York, where serious comics for adults were like a cottage industry, so small that it couldn’t be found in the phone book.
The fact that the birth of comics is still a subject of discussion and disagreement shows just how retarded the study of the 9th art is.
The status of comic books in the world of artists’ books is awkward, because comic books are arguably the most successful verbi-visual book form with which artists of one sort or another are associated, and yet they have a quite separate existence. The comic books that have achieved a presence in the art world, such as Art Spiegelman’s Maus, do not stand out as prominently in the world of comic books.
I used to read comics, Batman, Superman, Mickey Mouse, Little Lulu, The Archies. All of those were translated into Spanish. These were the first notions I was having about the American culture.
As literature, most superhero books are bad, bad, bad. They are stuffed with verbal and visual clichés; their brief explorations of an individual’s psychology are shallow and often incorrectly reasoned; and they drip with sloppy research in the text and the visual elements.
I think comics are like fake magic. To keep itself entertaining, it creates a secret device, and we are not creating comics out of supernatural power. Sometimes there are readers who have false idea about drawing comics are about using supernatural power.
In a time when comic book geeks are actually getting laid and cute girls are parading around the convention halls in next to nothing to emulate their favorite superheroines, isn’t it a little sad that us girls have yet to have a quality superhero moment on celluloid?
I remember thinking after September 11, “This has surely got to be the beginning of the end of American superheroes.” Because one of the reasons I suspect the superhero rose in America and nowhere else is American impunity, or the sense of impunity.
Comic books can probably be best understood if they are looked upon as an expression of the folklore of this age. They may be compared with the mythology, fairy tales and puppet shows, for example, of past ages.
Truth Nº 1: Hotels just hate comic-book conventions. Kids and teenagers are too poor and too young to rent rooms and drink at the bar, so hotels don’t make much money on comic conventions.
It was gratifying when I went back to Hawaii for my first [Usagi Yojimbo] book signing. It was crowded. There were kids everywhere. My Dad said, “Okay, I guess you can make a living…”.