An interesting essay in the Guardian today (or yesterday, rather) about the somewhat subdued non-genre comics scene.
Every few months since the dawn of time – or, at least, since Superman first fled Planet Krypton – articles have appeared in newspapers announcing: "Comics grow up!" God knows, I've written a few. You go from a jocular paragraph or two about "underpants worn outside the trousers", via the obligatory reference to Alan Moore's Watchmen and a cap-doffing to Art Spiegelman's Holocaust epic Maus, before rounding off with an overenthusiastic payoff.I too have grown heartily sick of such articles, although at the same time my own comics consumption has narrowed to more-or-less exclusively supers. In the olden days, when I was young and full of spunk, I read a lot of "alternative" comics. I tended to like the funny ones, so I was a bit iffy on stuff like Love & Rockets and Cerebus, but I really loved the early Eightball (and I think Icehaven is possibly the best comic ever made), Chris Ware's hilarious Quimby Mouse and Potato Man, Reid Fleming the World's Toughest Milkman, Flaming Carrot and, of course, Robert Crumb and the Freak Brothers.
Maybe it's still in a box somewhere...
I'm a sci fi guy in general, so I'm not that keen on things I probably wouldn't read if they were a book - the works of Seth, eg, or Persepolis or Tamara Drew by Posey Symonds thing (although I did read that when it was serialised int he Guardian, it wasn't really my cup of tea, as much as I appreciated the craft). What I really miss, though, are the wild satirical and funny books - some of the early stuff by Joe Sacco (although I like his reportage work a great deal), Charles Burns or some of the sillier things in RAW.
Ut! Remember this guy?
I like this article, because it sums up my problem with independent comics right now:
It's as if half the movie industry is Hollywood and the other half is Todd (Happiness) Solondz.I am - as Monty Python memorably put it - an intellectual midget who likes giggling. I enjoy my "Hollywood" comics well enough, but I'd really like to see the comics equivalents of The Office or Mitchell & Webb, clever, funny, perhaps a dash of satire and black humour and fewer gloomy tales of dispossessed loners.