RARA-AVIS: Comics prejudice

From: Rick Ollerman ( rick@ollerman.com)
Date: 02 May 2008

Comics/graphic novels are at an interesting place, I think. They're not the same mags I read as a kid. For one thing, writers like Bendis
(already mentioned) really are turning out compelling work, with superb storytelling and some wonderful character development.

That said, comics are now more like movies then they ever were, a style novelist/comics writer Peter David calls "decompressed." Gone are the boxes at the top of panels that explain setting, etc., replaced by dialogue and the art itself. The result is that the comics are much more like movies and less like books. More cinematic in nature and less a narrative.

This makes for a much quicker read, which may or may not be an okay thing, but it also puts even more emphasis on the quality of the art, which can vary widely. To me, Saturday morning cartoonish styles or heaven forbid manga (Japanese for "crap," in my opinion).

Characters can kill people now. Hero characters can actually die. Today much of the medium clearly owes at least as much to crime and noir fiction as the "Make Mine Marvel" days of the past. At least the ones I've been reading...

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