It’s awesome that the comics medium is so conducive to frenetic storytelling. And as hard as that makes drawing comics, it also makes comics more fun to draw.
The one time I talked with Jack Kirby, he told me that it didn’t matter how weird or cosmic or far out anything got, as long as your characters reacted to it the way real people would. Give the audience a vantage point they can comprehend, a place to stand that feels real, and they’ll comprehend the bigger stuff.
Newspapers have definitely gone downhill […] A big mistake was downgrading the comics so that they are run so small one can barely read them, and eliminating continued adventure strips, so all that’s left is three panels and a gag.
Comics for me is a happy medium, because I can do a work that feels like pulp but aspires to be art and the audience either doesn’t notice its pretentions or loves them.
I always find it curious when people draw distinctions between kids comics and kids picture books, basically you’re telling stories with pictures in both instances, and the art can’t be separated from the words.
Writing comics is far more fun, and faaaaaaaar less time-consuming (and hence, technically far more lucrative), than actually drawing them.
The periodical art form is something that’s unique to comics and it’s something that we’re proud to do, and do our very best at month-in, month-out.
Comics are always a weird hybrid of text and words, bunged together idiosyncratically by individuals or committees.
My philosophy is that the happiest way I can be a cartoonist is to have a day job, because the times I was just freelance were very stressful and hard. I found it difficult to work on my comics when I was consumed with worry about finding work.
There’s an old adage in comics that says “every issue is someone’s first”. What that means is that every issue should, to some degree, give a new reader everything they need to get started with the series.
I think if I did nothing but comics, I would end up hating comics. For a while there I was actually beginning to hate comics. Although I think that mainly had to do with a lot of the feelings I had about the business of comics more than the creation of comics.
I’m a lover of tangible paper comics and find it hard to look at webcomics, to be honest—there’s something missing without the weight and smell of the paper product.
A lot of people have told us “how dare we do something humorous [about 3-11 Madrid train bombings]”. But a comic isn’t necessarily funny, the graphic novel is a form of communication like cinema.
The thing I find most fascinating about him [Jeff Brown] is they’re supposed to be autobiographical comics, but they’re clearly not. Also, these relationship comics are a lie. In a relationship, it’s not always the girl’s fault.
People say four-panel comics are so easy, but I don’t think so. It’s very hard [for me] to make people laugh at four panels.
The issue [Captain America #50] shows us a Captain America willing to do whatever it takes to live up to his responsibilities; it shows that superhero comics are violent and serious, but with an exaggerated view of both; it shows that comics are about using action to reveal character; and it shows that America must fear threats from within.
It’s difficult to admit artistic duplicity. A cartoonist who does cinema just doesn’t fit into any of the boxes.
Comics are a medium I have learned and taken so much from in my career and my personal life. They were so important to me and so important in changing who I became that I owed it to comics to bring an entire readership to them that hadn’t read them before.
A lot of artists are naturally wary of fan pressure and the excessive criticism that come with a higher profile, so they put their all into a project, knowing that if they do less than the best they’re capable of, 50 jeering bastards on the Internet will turn up to personally insult them.
Manga and comics are an important education tool on multiple levels. The midway point between picture books and full prose is a crucial one for developing visual storytelling.
Comics is sometimes described as a democratic medium, and the same holds for comics criticism. A few academics may try to convince themselves that only academic criticism matters, but they are whistling Dixie. In particular, the number of cartoonists who have written with insight on comics history and theory is mind-boggling. Indeed, it is difficult to think of another art form whose practitioners have played such a prominent role in conceptualizing their own activity.
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” What do you have then when several such pictures are aligned together in sequential form? What else, but a comic book presenting a visual narrative.
Batman’s agenda is a fear agenda, where his main tool is “Boo!”. They turn around and there’s a guy and he looks like a giant fucking bat.
While some mainstream comics fans (i.e., superhero fans) certainly do react with knee-jerk, sneering, overweening contempt and disdain at any hint of the so-called “manga style,” I have to admit that they’re paragons of tolerance and openmindedness compared to certain manga fans, who fly into hysterical, frenzied, blubbering paroxysms of sheerest outrage and indignation whenever Western artists are perceived to be encroaching on manga’s culturally pure and sacred grounds.
Readers who look at superhero comics will immediately notice the constant physical conflict between extreme-bodied protagonists. But beneath the surface violence, the dialogue expresses moral perspectives that often go beyond the trite “crime does not pay”.
The advent of this modern superhero era in Hollywood and the intense success of the gaming and tech culture have made this the Golden Age of Nerds.
Spider-Man, that’s a different thing again, because that’s comic books, and there’s a whole series of relations between punk rock and rock bands and comic books, that goes back years.
What are Webcomics? Nobody knows. In the same way that “comics” is just such an utterly wrong label for what the comic is, “Webcomics” doesn’t get close to the form under discussion.
Ridiculous as it sounds, all I ever wanted to do was my comic books. It’s just that, financially, there’s so little money in comics compared to music… It’s definitely sort of weird that, to me, music is kind of my day job and comics are my art that I’m hoping is gonna take off.
Batwoman is the highest profile queer character in mainstream, genre fiction ever. As a lesbian, she’s possibly an easier sell to the still mainly straight, white, male comic readers.
Any character you create for a shared universe, as structured legally along work-for-hire rules, is no longer your character the moment it is published.
Kids today really don’t read comics much anymore. In fact, they barely read anything except for the instructions to a video game.
By the time I got to college I wanted to be a fine artist, and the emphasis is on fine. I mean I wanted to have nothing to do with the ignorant world. Cartoons to me were really base and just nasty little things.
There’s nothing wrong per se with using terrorists as antagonists in comics. I don’t think we’d be seeing such use if we all weren’t freaking out about nuclear missiles in Iraq or North Korea or what have you; the comics seem to belie that fear.
Reading a comic book is as a complex semiotic process — it involves understanding how the interactions between words and images have been manipulated in order to achieve a story or joke.
Newspapers are declining, for a syndicated cartoonist, that’s like finally making it to the major leagues and being told the stadiums are all closing, so there’s no place to play.
You have to draw every single day, 365 days a year, year after year, after year. So once you hit your stride, editors tend to leave you alone. At this point, after 25 years, they figure I know my audience, I know what I’m doing. Sometimes if I push the envelope too much, my editor may call and say, “this may cause some trouble in middle America. Is this abortion joke really funny enough to risk losing Kansas City?” That sort of thing.
In many ways, the audience for rock ‘n’ roll band and audience for comic books are the same: it’s kids — like ourselves, 15-16, out in the suburbs, in our case in Dublin city, but it could be any city in America or in Europe.
In introducing “graphic books” to the critical lexicon, the creators of The New York Times Bestseller Lists seem to have been compelled to simultaneously stand to the side of existing contests over comics, what they are, what they mean, who they are for, and make a statement about the “maturation” of the form.