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thoughts on Comics Journalism
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monkey of rock
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 7:01 am    Post subject: thoughts on Comics Journalism Reply with quote

Hello everybody
I'm writing a dissertation on the idea of Comics Journalism and wondered what people's thooughts were on the subject. The main things I'm looking at are Joe Sacco's work, Joe Kubert's "Fax from Sarajevo", Ted Rall's "To Afghanistan and Back" and the 9/11 anthologies. I'm interested in its links to the New Journalism (Tom Wolfe, Hunter S Thompson, Gay Talese, Michael Herr, etc) of the 70's, and also related comics texts such as "Maus" and the "Spiders" strip at e-sheep.com.

Does anyone know of anything else I should look at?
Do you think comics is a viable medium for journalism to develop?
Could Comics Journalism become an genuine identifiable movement?
Who does it well / badly?
Bearing in mind how long "Maus"(11 years!) and Sacco's work take to complete, is it impossible for comics to work as a more topical 'news' medium, rather than just as a current affairs/recent history one?
If so how? Could digital technology help?
Has 9/11 punctured the superhero myth?
Has it precipitated a move into broader subject matter?
How did comics deal with 9/11 and its afetermath?

That's enough for now. Thanks for your help.

Chris
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japanimationfist
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Comic and journalism have had a long and rather close relationship, I think. Though the idea of the comic-documentary is relatively new editorial cartoons have been around for quite some time. The two have fed off of one another over the years.

As far as using comics in more of a first-person documentary sense I think you may want to look at the use of coutroom sketches, for instance, where comics (or drawing at any rate) finds its way into the process of recroding and occasionally commenting. There is also a failry lengthy tradition of war-time artists enlisted to record battle scenes (even the civil war).

It's not so much a question of whether or not comics journalism could become a movement, because I think it already is, but the question of whether or not it could be a viable one is a good one. It is certainly relevant, but it's not as fast as writing or reporting via television or some other form of electronic media simply because of the drawing involved.

As for 9/11 and the superhero myth, I think that the super-hero myth was punctured long before that by the growth of cynicism. 9/11 just pushed that a little further by undermining our security. If anythign 9/11 has made heroes more relevant than ever before, but it has also left some doubts in our minds as to what a hero is. The emphasis is less on power and more on personal choices. I think that's pretty relevant, though it probably doesn't help you much with what you're doing.

Good luck with your report though.
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InkAddict
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2003 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some things worth considering:...

In the 1910's up to the 1950's, some sports journalists were known to draw small comics in newspapers to explain what happened on the field.

The artist who did the first Tarzan comics (forgot his name... Hogarth?) started out like this, I heard...

This was mainly because foto's and film were too expensive and most of the action was over before you could take a pic of it.


Also worth reading is "Sarajevo Tango" by Hermann (a retelling of the Kosovo conflict in a surreal story)...Hermann was the artist behind Jeremiah, and Sarajevo was his first author comic (he wrote the story & dialogue AND drew the lot)

Also some of ENKI Bilal's work is VERY inspired by political ideas.

Another nice comics writer is Bucquoy (author of the movie "the sexual life of the belgians"). He wrote some very anarchist/political stories (as well as quite some porn, just to shock the establishment)

These are all European writers but you might still find them in the US of A as some (Hermann & Bilal) are widely known.

Good Luck
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Last edited by InkAddict on Fri Apr 11, 2003 3:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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InkAddict
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2003 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yeah! And Wiley did some great editorial cartooning while Bush was getting elected "Non Sequitur"'s "world of Ele"

(I believe Bush was being portrayed as a monkey)

Hope it helps
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really like Sacco's work. I find it too disjointed.
Sorry. I prefer "maus" for instance.
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kaos_de_moria
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 7:51 am    Post subject: shame to live in the states *g* Reply with quote

art spiegelman just publishes in the german weekly magazine zeit a comic called "Im Schatten keiner T?rme" (in the shadow of no towers)

the comic is actually published in english as well in the Forward. if you speak any german you can try to read the interview with art spiegelman in "der spiegel"

http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/literatur/0,1518,265185,00.html

there is some comic biographies. there is one about the tintin panter herg? and there is one aswell about the sprayer of z?rich by sambal oelek. i actually don't remember the corect name of both. but if you want i can look them up.


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DecafSilicon
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Collections of 9-11 comics rolled out last year:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1891867121/qid=1064166677/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/103-0102078-9694225?v=glance&s=books

There's a collection of mainstream artists and writers using their superhero characters (Gaiman's Death; Superman; Wonder Woman) and a collection of ... more literary ... artists and writers, less fictional than the first.
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Random Dent
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yingo wrote:
Oh yeah! And Wiley did some great editorial cartooning while Bush was getting elected "Non Sequitur"'s "world of Ele"

(I believe Bush was being portrayed as a monkey)

Hope it helps


Non Sequitor is one of my favorites. I think Willey does it quite well (but then again, any Republicans reading this will be sure to disagree). Just take a look at today's- "Ur...Ai...ne...um".
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DecafSilicon
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a Republican, and I enjoy Wiley's critiques. He doesn't criticize a political school of thought (conservatism) but a corruption of that thought (the certain American Republicans in power, particularly).

I'm also a Christian. I've found reason to believe that Wiley is, though he's criticized the church.
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Jason Alderman
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 2:57 pm    Post subject: A few more examples of comics journalism... Reply with quote

...although it's probably too late for the original poster's thesis, since this thread appears to have been resurrected after a seven month lapse....

- Jessica Abel takes a stab at comics as human-interest/mundane journalism. While some comics on her site really show her ability as a storyteller, her journalism work sometimes seems a bit dry--like stiff portraits with captions. She has a regular back-pager for the University of Chicago alumni magazine in the same style that's apparently not too popular among the students. (Rereading the samples on her site, perhaps they're just not my cup of tea, I guess...but journalism IS supposed to show things the way they are, not distorted.)

- Henrik Rehr's Tuesday on ModernTales Longplay is the reason I stayed up past my bedtime tonight. It's a great autobio tale of tragedy and fatherhood and 9/11.

jason
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jessica Abel's "La Perdida" is quite good. I'm anxiously awaiting part 4.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 5:30 pm    Post subject: Leonard Rifas ? Reply with quote

Didn't the "Educomics" Rifas did (Last Gasp ?) about twenty years ago fall into this category ? I didn't own any (too much of a Marvel-head at that age), but I know that there were titles like "Corporate Crime Comics" (Karen Silkwood's last moments were on the cover) and "Food First" (about the unfairness of factory farms and the cash-crop system). I know this now because a closet geek at the local IWW headquarters snuck some into the reading room alongside the obligatory Marx, Goldman, Terkel, etc. Some of the stories are quite good, art-wise. Maybe someone still sells them, somewhere...
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2003 12:21 pm    Post subject: Persepolis Reply with quote

Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's account of her girlhood in 1970s revolutionary Iran. Well done and very moving. Despite the ubiquitous Maus comparisons, she has her own style, and it draws you in instantly. Also, this is the first new comic I've read offline in sometime, so I really appreciated how nicely designed the volume was.
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