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The Politics of Inexperience

Say a fond farewell to Emily Flake, whose final diary entry is up today. Thanks, Emily.

And now to links, almost all of which turn out to revolve around political questions, coincidentally enough.

First, Brandon Graham gives good interview. In this one, he speaks (as a sometime comics porn creator himself) about what comic books get wrong about sex.

Speaking of what comic books get wrong about sex, Tom Spurgeon pulled out a recent Newsarama interview with Catwoman writer Judd Winick in which the former Real World star pulled a Nigel Tufnel and acted as if the reason people were up in arms about his run on the title is because it was too “sexy.” Well, maybe he was acting—Tom expresses justifiable amazement at Winick’s ability to remove the nuance of this discussion. Based solely upon the utter insipidity of all the Winick work I’ve read, I’d say it’s an open question whether he’s cynically and intentionally pretending not to understand the underlying issues, or that he’s just actually not smart enough to get it. Of course, I guess it could be a combination of the two.

This is old (in internet time) but still relevant.

Matt Seneca has an essay on Crepax’s Valentina, possibly his favorite comic of all time. (Incidentally, for at least the first hour of that Inkstuds roundtable I linked to the other day, the main subject Matt, Joe McCulloch, and Tucker Stone discuss is European erotic comics and the portrayal of rape therein. That kind of work is not my bag, but it’s an interesting if uncomfortable talk nonetheless.)

James Romberger writes about the male perspective, too, in a roundup of brief reviews of comics by Alex Toth, Adrian Tomine, Joost Swarte, and Jim Steranko, among others. He also slams Chester Brown’s Paying for It hard, ultimately finding the whole thing “fucking depressing.” I don’t dispute many of James’s points, but Brown’s book has only grown in my estimation over the past year— it truly supports multiple valid perspectives on what it’s up to in a way that only the best art does. Try finding a non-risible interpretation of the Catwoman comic mentioned earlier.

And then of course there’s the way comics portray race. The Forbidden Planet blog alerts us to an impassioned take on the recent Tintin in the Congo written by the novelist China Miéville, arguing on the side of Bienvenue Mbutu Mondondo instead of Hergé’s publishers. It’s worth reading, if for no other reason then that intelligent arguments from Mondondo’s point of view have gotten precious little attention. (Incidentally, in the course of his essay, Miéville links to a lengthy series of blog posts denouncing Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s use of the “golliwog” character in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.)

And there’s lots of video for you to watch on a lazy Friday afternoon:

Robert Crumb talking to Gary Groth in India (via)

Jules Feiffer (via)

And Jerry Moriarty’s new YouTube channel (via)


3 Responses to The Politics of Inexperience

  1. patrick ford says:

    Thanks for the link to the Crumb interview. Unfortunately part three wasn’t posted at You-Tube. Apparently part three is where Crumb discussed the WEIRDO years, so hopefully whoever put up the other three segments will post part three.

  2. Matt Seneca says:

    *definitely and unequivocally my fav comic of all time, ha ha

  3. patrick ford says:

    Crepax is a man among boys.

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