Re: RARA-AVIS: Comics prejudice

From: Stephen Burridge (
Date: 03 May 2008

Actually the text you quote is from a posting by Rick Ollerman.

Stephen Burridge

On Sat, May 3, 2008 at 9:57 AM, Mark D. Nevins <> wrote:

> Stephen writes:
> -----------
> 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).
> ------------
> Your points about significant changes in narrative structure and pacing
> in more recent "adult-oriented" American comics, and the likely effect
> of certain techniques from film, are well-taken, but your final
> assertion above is competely illogical and incorrect.
> The quality or style of the drawings in comics are for the most part
> completely unrelated to the changes in story-telling your are talking
> about; this would be like saying a movie's being filmed in
> black-and-white or color film has an effect on its pacing or narrative
> flow.
> I'm not a huge fan of most Manga, but, ironically, it is probably the
> narrative conventions of Manga, which tends to move VERY quickly, is
> highly dialogue-driven, and generally features little exposition, that
> has been one of the biggest influences on the changes in American
> comics storytelling in recent years.
> None of this has ANYTHING to do, of course, with the particular style
> of drawing--i.e., what you call "crap."
> Sorry to delurk just to pick a nit, but since the question here is
> whether or not RARA-AVIANS would enjoy certain crime comics (I'd tend
> to say they all should try a few of the better one, but on the other
> hand I am well aware that "comfortably" reading and enjoying comics is
> very much a learned skill, not to mention a taste best acquired when
> young), I think it's pretty important that we not be muddying the water
> with incorrect assertions that might simply increase prejudices.
> Mark Nevins

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