December 4, 2015

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Weekend Pattering for December 4th, 2015-- Don't Tell Anyone We're Really Talking About Comics

** The panels that were worth pattering about last week:






** Chaz Ebert: Where Are All the Diverse Voices in Film Criticism? (The Daily Beast)-- Chaz Ebert has a thought-provoking piece about the need for diverse point of views in film criticism.  You could easily read this article and anywhere she invokes "film criticism", you could substitute "comic criticism."

The parts of her piece that feels important are this:
The trusted voices in film criticism should be diverse ambassadors who have access to the larger conversation. If we can’t recognize ourselves within the existing public discourse, we are implicitly being asked to devalue our experiences and accept a narrative that is not our own. Excluding diverse voices from the conversation de-emphasizes the value of our different experiences. It is critical that the people who write about film and television and the arts—and indeed the world—mirror the people in our society.
This:
It means an expanded definition of diversity where there will be more sexual identities represented, more women, and more people who are differently abled writing about film from their standpoint.

And this:
But sexism and racism have been so engrained in our culture that seismic change is guaranteed to be an all-too-gradual one. Yet it is our role as journalists and critics and cinephiles to aim a spotlight on the artists whose work stand as inarguable proof of the boundless talent ignored when we green-light only those projects of white males. When we respond to whitewashing, ignorance, or misappropriation in film and the arts with indifference, we allow them to fester in the hollowness of silence. Silence is seen as approval and deliberately perpetuates barriers, pushing diverse voices to the periphery.
The internet is the greatest magazine that each of us can curate whatever way that we want to.  We can seek like-minded and demographically homogenous voices to support us or to uphold our own particular worldviews or we can seek out new voices to challenge us, to reveal to us, to broaden our views.


** The Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency (The Comics Journal)-- The future home of Frank Santoro's Comic Workbook Rowhouse Residency is on its way to becoming a reality.  I can't wait to see what comics this building produces.

To get an idea of the comics that Santoro's student's produce, check out the Comics Workbook Tumblr page.



** Sunday Book Review Adrian Tomine’s ‘Killing and Dying’ (New York Times)-- So I wasn't expecting A.O. Scott, one of the NYT's chief film critics, to review Adrian Tomine's latest book but here it is.  Unfortunately he has to start it off by defining/defending/defusing the term "graphic novel."  I actually wish he could have called this book what is-- Comics!!!!!!!
“Graphic novel” is a perfectly serviceable phrase, but it expresses an unmistakable and unfortunate bias, emphasizing the literary identity of a given book at the expense of its visual essence. Pictures are more than prose carried out by other means. And there is some category confusion when it comes to a book like Adrian Tomine’s “Killing and Dying.” “Graphic short story” doesn’t sound quite right, but how else to describe the half-dozen vignettes in this collection, each one bristling with acute observations and piquant ironies? These tales — pocket epics of romantic, creative and social frustration set in recognizably drab, drably picturesque American landscapes — certainly invite comparison to the work of words-only short-form masters like Raymond ­Carver, Ann Beattie and Mary Gaitskill, and for that matter O. Henry himself. You can almost forget you’re looking at drawings.
Yes, we get it, A.O.  This is some strange merge of word and image, unlike anything we've seen before.  So let's compare it to masters of the short stories instead of trying to find other, similar creators like the Hernandez brothers, Alison Bechdel or any number of cartoonists who may also do these "graphic novels" and these "drawings."



** Check out this comic by Jason Martin and Rob Kirby.