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Author Topic: The State of Comics  (Read 4381 times)

tedzsee

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The State of Comics
« on: 10 Jul 2005, 23:37 »

Just read an interesting rant about comics by Bill Watterson.

It got me thinking about the state of syndicated newspaper comics today.  Besides the old standby For Better or For Worse, I was wondering if anyone could think of any newspaper comics that could, in a few years, be considered really "genius."

Or is the medium really static today?  Are webcomics the last bastion of the creative?  Are they even a bastion of the creative?

Thoughts?
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jeph

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The State of Comics
« Reply #1 on: 11 Jul 2005, 00:18 »

Newspaper comics have been dying for years. There will always be the occasional flash of brilliance (Get Fuzzy, while not exactly breaking new ground, is consistently hilarious) but it has basically become an industry of diminishing returns.
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Primate

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The State of Comics
« Reply #2 on: 11 Jul 2005, 05:01 »

Between shrinking circulations, constricted formats, and dinosaurs that won't die and that keep new blood from joining their ranks, there are very few opportunities for anyone new to shine in the field of newspaper comics. Most of us who might have pursued a syndication deal a decade ago have instead switched over to the web. The artform is doing fine, even if the medium has changed.
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My Aim Is True

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The State of Comics
« Reply #3 on: 11 Jul 2005, 07:04 »

I've read that article many times before. The only thing I don't like about it is his bashing of comic books.

Quote from: Bill Watterson
comic books have traditionally been an even sloppier; dumber, and more exploitive market than newspaper comics.


He wrote this just a few short years after Frank Miller and Alan Moore changed the face of mainstream comics, but even before that, there was tons of great literature being published as comics. Look at the work of Harvey Pekar, or even some of the Spider-Man stories written by Stan Lee. Sure, there was a lot of crap, but Spider-Man's origin tale, told in just 10 pages, laid the groundwork for one of the most moving and inspiring archetypes or the 20th century.


Oh, and Jeph, I agree Get Fuzzy is outstanding.
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Se7en

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The State of Comics
« Reply #4 on: 11 Jul 2005, 08:23 »

I think the important thing here, is the fact that newspapers themselves are a dying medium. The cartoons are a tiny part of the newspaper that they included to broaden a newspapers appeal, back in the days when newspapers were big bussiness.

Webcomics, are of course the way forward. For every syndicated comic, there are a thousand published for free on the web. This isnt good for making money, but its good for artistic expression. Sure, theres loads of crap, but there are gems too.

Paper comic books are a waning art form too i think, destroyed by the "comic book guy" stereotype, as satirised on the simpsons. Paper comic books have always been seen as a thing for children and nerds, and what self respecting modern nerd buys a physical version of something he can get for free on the internet?

Paper just isnt cool anymore.
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Primate

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The State of Comics
« Reply #5 on: 12 Jul 2005, 04:59 »

Well, more than a few of the web comic community have chosen to produce book collections from their work, so I wouldn't say paper is dead. I mean, it's more portable than an online version, more comfortable than hard plastic, has a sharper resolution, and is solar powered to boot. When you add in the trade paperbacks and graphic novels of American and Japanese works, paper seems be doing just fine.
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My Aim Is True

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The State of Comics
« Reply #6 on: 12 Jul 2005, 06:46 »

Quote from: Se7en

Paper comic books are a waning art form too i think, destroyed by the "comic book guy" stereotype, as satirised on the simpsons. Paper comic books have always been seen as a thing for children and nerds.


print comics are actually now at their highest point since the big boom and bust of the late 90s. sales of collections of recent storylines have skyrocketed in the past few years, and the availability of them means people can easily catch up on sometimes complex and long running storylines (especially in the case of books where creative teams stay around a long time, like Daredevil, Ultimate Spider-Man, and any Vertigo book).


Also, when I mentioned how disappointed I was that Bill Watterson trashed comic books, I can't believe I forgot to mention WILL EISNER. Bill Watterson probably ripped off a ton of techniques pioneered by Will Eisner, and he doesn't even realize it.
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happybirthdaygelatin

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The State of Comics
« Reply #7 on: 12 Jul 2005, 09:13 »

Quote
destroyed by the "comic book guy" stereotype, as satirised on the simpsons.


Come to think of it, all the comic book stores I have been in have not had a single person working there as sarcastadon like as the comic book guy.
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TBW

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Re: The State of Comics
« Reply #8 on: 14 Jul 2005, 21:46 »

Quote from: tedzsee
It got me thinking about the state of syndicated newspaper comics today.  Besides the old standby For Better or For Worse, I was wondering if anyone could think of any newspaper comics that could, in a few years, be considered really "genius."
Pearls Before Swine.
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My Aim Is True

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Re: The State of Comics
« Reply #9 on: 15 Jul 2005, 00:28 »

Quote from: TBW
Quote from: tedzsee
It got me thinking about the state of syndicated newspaper comics today.  Besides the old standby For Better or For Worse, I was wondering if anyone could think of any newspaper comics that could, in a few years, be considered really "genius."
Pearls Before Swine.


I think it gets a little repetitive or hokey sometimes, but I agree, it is one of the best out there today.
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ebullientsoul

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The State of Comics
« Reply #10 on: 19 Jul 2005, 07:01 »

i'm a big fan of FoxTrot by Bill Amend. Say what you will, but this guy has his ear to the ground in nerd humor.

Get Fuzzy is consistently good, and Dilbert is always good for laughs.
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Cave Monster

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Good in paper
« Reply #11 on: 22 Jul 2005, 19:07 »

I'll agree that For Better or for Worse is probably the best thing out there but a few others are doing some good.
-"Dykes to Watch out For" is a great strip even if you are not yourself a lesbian
-"Monty" still has moments of its old brilliance
-"Doonsbury" is an old titan that is just as valid today as ever dammit
-"The Boondocks" may piss you off, this is a good thing.
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My Aim Is True

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The State of Comics
« Reply #12 on: 23 Jul 2005, 03:11 »

Quote from: happybirthdaygelatin
Quote
destroyed by the "comic book guy" stereotype, as satirised on the simpsons.


Come to think of it, all the comic book stores I have been in have not had a single person working there as sarcastadon like as the comic book guy.


the comic shop I went to growing up used to have a couple of guys who were at least as snooty and sarcastic as Comic Book Guy. One was just a pissant, who eventually tried to open his own shop and failed miserably. The other one was cool once he warmed up to you, but he's totally pussywhipped now and doesn't hang out at the shop.
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