Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Graphic Novels/Snobbery

Date: 01 May 2008

In a message dated 5/1/08 10:25:57 AM, writes:

> I have read comics since I was a kid. From as long as I've been a
> reader, in fact. And in some weird way I think reading non-graphic
> novels has spoiled my reading of comics. I now read very quickly
> whereas when I used to read comics as a kid I would linger over the
> pictures for ages and re-read a comic several times. Now I'm impatient
> to get through the story -- why should it take me longer to read a
> four issue comic story than a Hammett, for instance? The older I get
> the more impatient I become. So I whiz through comics these days while
> my inner child chides me for not getting the whole picture. And if
> you've never grown up reading comics with the patience of a child you
> might not even know what it is you're missing when you skim through a
> comic.

I have a numbered Steranko lithograph framed on my wall. it's black and white and your eye immediately goes to the trenchcoated guy bursting thru a door into a bedroom. you follow his eyeline to the nude and bound female foreground, partially obscured in shadow. she's lying on top of a newspaper headline that reads: SILK STOCKING KILLER AT LARGE. next to that is a rotary telephone, off the hook. you can almost hear the busy signal blaring from the receiver, or perhaps a frantic voice on the other end

from there, your eye travels to the only source of light in the room, the raised sash window to the left, whose blinds are partially drawn. the blinds cast serrated shadows across the wall, all the way back to the door from which the hero entered

and behind that door is the silhouette of a man, silk stocking clenched between his fists like a garrotte

visual storytelling at its finest

John Lau

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