10 July 2006

Chris Ware on Comics...

Which I find highly relevant to roleplaying:

    Comics aren't really misunderstood either, they've just been mostly silly for the past century, and those genre-centered stories have found their way into the movie theaters over the past couple of decades because a generation who grew up reading them has, well, grown up. Yet there are more artists doing good work now in comics than ever before, and I think some readers sense that there's something about the disposition of the person who wants to grow up to be a cartoonist that somehow allows him or her to be able to see and comment on our world in a way that's maybe a little more clear-seeming (or, in its most immature but still valuable form, judgmental). Also, it's a way of literally experiencing someone else's vision with a purity that I don't think any other medium offers; there are no technical, electronic or financial limitations; one only has to work harder to improve. Lately I think a new attitude has prevailed that comics aren't inherently an Art form, but that some cartoonists are genuinely artists.
Oh, also, Push is finished. I'll have ordering details soon.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Tony Irwin said...

Do you mean American comics?

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Tony Irwin said...

Doh, I just twigged. I couldn't find a link to what Chris Ware had said - just realised that the whole post is what Chris Ware said, its his opinions on comics not yours. Sorry.

So about roleplaying games. Are you talking about American ones? Do you think they've been mainly about silly stuff?

9:42 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Walton said...

Here's the actual interview with Chris Ware.

I think that, up until recently (and like comics), roleplaying games have been content to focus mainly on genre fiction, which is fine, but kinda "silly." I don't think Ware means "silly" to be a bad thing. Captain Planet is silly. But he'll take pollution down to zero. And that's badass.

I do think the geek/teenage boy hobbies (comics, video games, cartoons, roleplaying) are all growing up (and becoming more co-ed) together as their original market grows up. And I like his take on "could be art, but not necessarily." But you should read his other comments on the dangers and restrictions that being "art" gives a work.

I was talking with Thomas yesterday about how some of us liberal progressive hippies like roleplaying more for what it can be than what it usually is. Love the sinner, hate the sin, sorta. And I think that's also connected.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Mo said...

Yay done PUSH! Yay Co-ed!

10:49 AM  
Blogger Leigh Walton said...

Tony, I can't think of a country whose comics output in the last century couldn't be described as "mostly silly."

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Tony said...

Hey Jonathon. Away from the world of publishing and design for a moment, how would describe your own play? Are you playing something different, or discontentedly playing the silly stuff. Your last paragraph hints a note of frustration.

Leigh, not as a challenge but simply so I can get some context to your comment, what's your involvement with comics? If its purely as a reader then give me you "Comics and Me" story.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Leigh Walton said...

Tony, for the last year and a half I've been the student director of the comic book reading room at my college, and I've read a lot of comics over the years.

My point wasn't that there isn't good work being done in comics (I wouldn't be doing it if that were the case), or that other countries don't have healthier comics industries. But I don't believe there's any magical land that only makes good comics. 90% of everything is crap. I've seen plenty of crap comics from Britain, Japan, and continental Europe. I suspect that even in countries with a healthier and more respected comic industry, people tend to see them more as light entertainment than legitimate art. But then again, that's not too far from how Americans see film, so I guess that doesn't bother me too much.

3:57 AM  
Anonymous Tony said...

Cool, thanks Leigh

8:49 PM  

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