Did you hear my knuckles crack as I flexed my fingers before typing? Couldn’t wait for a more digestible answer! Really enjoyed your response and please do not apologize for “rants”. It reads to me as you figuring out why you do what you do. That’s important. Very important. Especially at a place like SE where there’s the hope of great feedback.
I have several thoughts. First of all, yes, I’m overly harsh in my condemnation of things like deplorable Captain Underpants. Anything like that does take an immense amount of time and effort to create, so I can not nor will belittle there being a finished and completed project. And I have not attempted a graphic novel or comic myself, yet, because of the amount of work. It would claim a year or more of your life.
That said… I’ve little time for things that rely on cheap tricks AND then are passed off as quality. The “well, it’s getting kids to read so what’s it matter how we make it happen as long as it happens”… that’s a thin veneer over huge amounts of ridunkulousness. That’s harsh but here’s why I say that. I did try to read it. If it’s popular, I’m always curious as to why but my objections still remain. As I found it unreadable. I’m not a nine year old boy and my tastes are far different but I call it deplorable because I think it runs “comic art” further away from art and into a pit of shock value.
Comic art is a hard thing to take seriously for people BECAUSE it is potentially cartoonish in nature. Cartoons are deceptively simple but elegant. For example, cave paintings are cartoonish and symbolic in nature, and often belittled. Yet, the simplistic elegance there that represents things with a minimal amount of lines is beautiful. Less can be indeed more. Things like Captain Underpants (I’m going to continue to use that as a placeholder) take simplistic beauty and use it as a springboard for cheap gags. While I do chuckle at the Three Stooges, I’d never hold that up as fine art. And I’ll stop now before I derail my train of thought into the world of abstract vs. realism and what makes quality art and so on and so forth. That’s a dangerous train to ride…
So, yes, picking up your train of thought, I think that comic art attracts the amateur who thinks that it will be easy and is able to show some success through cheap gags or humor. I.e., that simple is easy. Real comic art, from my studying and research, is usually far from that. Aside from some of the digression into odd anatomical renderings (I’m sorry… no one’s thighs should be that big.. you’d be able to wear nothing but sweatpants) and other shock value representations… It’s an incredible art form. Even the potentially simplistic nature of it allows for larger themes to come across. The Maus book (warning they are very, very rough) was belittled when it came out because critics said that it trivialized the Holocaust. Rather the opposite. I’m still shaken from having read it.
Also… that’s a really interesting point. Why do we always default to wanting a movie made? That, that is the end all somehow? It is a fully formed representation of our story or idea but it does a lot of the work for us. Sights, sounds, images are all there to intake not shape or form. The hard work is done. Cinematography is an art form… but it definitely has been elevated to the highest. That’s a little distressing.
Also, I’d love to see any of your art too! This was such an interesting post to stalk as I’m currently working on some art that is very comic book themed. Far more complex and engaging than I’d every imagined! How do you show midtones or grays with only black and white?!? What mind bending fun!
You do not have a soul. You have a body.
You are a soul. - C.S. Lewis