The world of the comic book is the world of the strong, the ruthless, the bluffer, the shred deceiver, the torturer and the thief.
With most comics priced between $3 and $4, and since very few folks put out single issue stories aymore, I find it a continual struggle whether to buy something I haven’t read or not. Often, even with an enthusiastic recommendation, I’m stuck with a handful of paper too small for the cat box and not of interest to anyone else.
Cartoon art is the craft of reuniting the word and the picture, using the drawing itself as communication more than as cold representation.
There’s quite a paradox in comics in that people who don’t read comics think that comics are for children, and yet, people in the comic book industry complain there aren’t enough comics for children because the industry has gone toward the adults.
Modern comics are almost universally full-coloured in Britain and America, but for over a century black and white was the only real choice for most mass market publishers – additional (colour) plates being just too expensive for shoe-string operations to indulge in.
When I drew I would often have some classic comic open on the table beside me for inspiration. For each new comic I would do this. Then I stopped when I recognized that what was more inspiring was the idea of creating a history of comics that never existed. What if [older comics] had had John Fords and Alfred Hitchcocks?
“Daniel Clowes, where do you get the ideas for such ugly faces?” And Dan goes, “Well, look, have you ever been to Chicago?”
Doing a run on Superman or the X-Men is no longer the career pinnacle it used to be, it no longer means you’ve achieved the highest level possible as a comic book creator. Not by a long shot. And I should know… I’ve done both.
Comics doesn’t mean superheroes. If you’re only interested in talking about superhero comics, for instance at your “women and comics” event, then call it “women and superhero comics”. I mean, it might seem obvious when the second item on your agenda is “Female versions of already established heroes”, but people like me get grumpy when you assume superheroes are all there are to comics.
What would you do if you could be invisible for a day? Or fly? Shrink down to ant-size, read minds, pull the world off its hinges? Superhero comics are all about those questions.
There’s a very definite class-system at work in the app-store, and it’s looking very much like queer comics are at the bottom of the heap.
According to my hyper-literate, arithmetically-impaired brain, comics are, at first glance, 50% writing and 50% art. In reality, the scales are probably tilted a little more toward 25% vs 75%, since you can look at a comic and see the art but not even notice the words.
There seems to be so much more opportunity here [USA], and I admit that I got tired of wading against the tide back home. British publishing, for all their lip service and supposed good will towards the medium and language of comics, you’ve sometimes got to stand firm against a lot of misunderstanding of what is achievable in comics, against old prejudices and snobbery.
One look at Superman, and you know what’s in front of you is the fictional embodiment of a myriad of American myths of values and formation.
We all know that comics are the most dominant form of entertainment in the world. The only problem is that the world doesn’t know it yet.
I tell stories to connect to people, and because I think we all share many universal experiences albeit with individual twists.
Cartoonists are the mavericks of the art world… but have not been accepted in the same way [as other artists]. They don’t realise the same prices and they don’t realise the same attention.
I don’t really believe in “inspiration” as such. It is more about concentration, observation, receptivity, patience and courage.
Nothing irks me as a sign that comic shops have calcified to their detriment as much as the fact that so many still seem to be specifically resistant to female customers.
You can get so obsessed with doing comics, and people think you’re crazy because all you want to do is draw. The main thing is, I can’t be alone anymore — the solitary confinement of it, sitting alone and working on comics all the time, which I did for years and years. Now, I need things going on around me to work on comics, almost as many distractions as possible.
Webcomics have already eclipsed newspaper comics creatively, because of all the restraints put on newspaper comics. Basically, we have to pass the blue-haired-old-lady test. If our comic might offend some grandmother somewhere, then we can’t do it.
I had been producing comic books for 15-year-old cretins from Kansas, [now I want to aim for] a 55-year-old who had his wallet stolen on the subway. You can’t talk about heartbreak to a kid.
Some comics would be hard to read on a computer screen or an iPhone screen. I am a tried and true print guy, and I always think in terms of books. I’ve never been seduced by the infinite canvas of the Internet.
Comics are more energetic, more vital than novels. They are these seductive visual tracts, they are fast.
In superhero comics, people can literally get away with anything, as long as they can think of it and find somebody who can draw it.
Stan Lee was the master of that he rarely gets credit for was to make people believe in some of the most absurd premises in the history of popular entertainment without raising an eyebrow.
The characters who inhabit comics live lives of operatic tragedy, intense joy, and all-consuming obsession.
If you’re a cartoonist (and this has something to do with the way cartoonists are perceived in literary and scientific circles), a lot of people I wrote to, space journalists and space historians, weren’t sure what I was and what I was doing.
Much of the medium is stuck in a spandex ghetto. But that’s largely due to the limited perception the American consumer has of comics. The truth is we are limited only by our readership, not by our ability as a medium.
What do these [superhero] stories actually mean? I read all these Image comics about these apocalyptic confrontations and the nature of good and evil – are they saying anything of value about these concepts, and if they’re aren’t, isn’t that worth noting, too?
It’s not that comics don’t exist as items that are marketed; they do. But they also exist as a vehicle for ideas, for stories, and that almost never gets discussed except under a strange construction that relies on the notion of fan entitlement. That’s too bad.
Some graphic novels are just expensive comic books, but ideally they should offer something different.