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New Adventures of Abraham Lincoln
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Greg Stephens
Forum Founder


Joined: 14 Apr 2001
Posts: 3861
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2001 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In this interview, it is once again brought up how poorly received The New Adventures of Abraham Lincoln was. Am I the only person who actually likes TNAoAL? I mean, at the time I read it, it wasn't only "the new Scott McCloud book", but it was something really different which opened my eyes, yet again, to the use of computers to magnify the comic-reading experience. Especially with regard to the use of icons and symbols (which computers are especially good at rendering) to discuss icons and symbols.

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[ This Message was edited by: Greg Stephens on 2001-08-01 14:54 ]
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buzzard
Frequent Poster


Joined: 30 Jul 2001
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2001 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't seen Lincoln, but I get the feeling that Scott's negative comments on it are based entirely on the reaction to it rather than his own opinion of it: i.e. "people don't like it, so it's a failure".

This is a perfectly valid way of judging one's own output, since most of the time a failed attempt at communication can be laid at the author's door, but I wonder if Scott actually feels like he knows why people don't like it--what's wrong with it, what lessons can be learned from it to do better next time, etc. Or if he still thinks it's pretty good but obviously it's just something most people don't connect with.
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M
Forum Member


Joined: 15 Jun 2001
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2001 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know an 11 year old girl who saw me reading Lincoln and then asked me to read the whole thing to her in one sitting. A while after that she went and got Lincoln from the library by herself and reread it.

Come to think of it, that was about the time she really started to look through the library's graphic novel collection and got a friend to start looking, too.

Lincoln a failure? I had never stopped to consider the idea before I heard it online. I don't know what the book was supposed to achieve, but it's not a failure in any way that's important to me.

---M,
blessed with a library system that has a healthy amount of comic books and books on comics
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Kevin Pease
Regular Poster


Joined: 26 Jun 2001
Posts: 24
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2001 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the form serves the content well, and the content serves the message well. That describes all of Scott's work. Scott makes comics, and while you look at a painting, you read a comic. The people who criticize Scott's artwork and choice of tools do so because they have forgotten to actually read the comic.

It's one thing to open to a random page and immediately say, "Flat cartoons on a 3D-rendered background? What a dumb idea!" And maybe it would be a dumb idea for a completely different story, but for this one it is effective. It works, and it even looks good.

It seems rather uncharacteristic of Scott to take this kind of surface criticism to heart. Maybe it's just because Lincoln didn't make money. Or maybe the artistic choices made in Lincoln are just harder to explain and harder to defend. The same sort of critics leaf through Reinventing Comics and don't absorb the ideas because their minds are occupied with counting the repetitions of a symbol. In that case, it's easy to point out why he does it that way. In the case of Lincoln, the honest answer is that he had new toys and wanted to play with them -- and I can see how that would make him doubt the wisdom of his own decision in hindsight, possibly before realizing that he had taken great care to choose a story that works with, and hence justifies, the style and media he wanted to work in.

[ This Message was edited by: Kevin Pease on 2001-08-13 03:12 ]
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