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Why do comics?
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ragtag
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Joined: 22 Jul 2001
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Location: Norway

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 12:27 pm    Post subject: Why do comics? Reply with quote

Firstly I would like to point to this "rant" by Steve Withrow http://www.komikwerks.com/rants.php?id=113 He's asking a question that has been going through my head lately, and I've been trying to answer. Why do comics? Or in my case, why should I do comics and why should I do the kind of comics I'm doing?

It's a heck of a hard question to answer.

Ragnar
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Eric F Myers
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Joined: 03 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The answer is not hard at all. I read comics because I like to. I make comics because I want to.
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Neil Cohn
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Joined: 28 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think people write in pictures and words together because its a natural way to write and communicate. People tell the stories they do because they are compelled to do so, which is probably the same reasons why people do any sort of expressive medium, such as poetry, painting, etc. Of course, some people do those things for economic reasons (ie. 'cause its a job), but thats usually not a big factor in comics ().
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ShadowCaster
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Joined: 23 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Neil that it's a way to communicate, but it's only natural to people who trained themselves to think with images. I'm personally not, so I'm more inclined to express myself in writing.
I think most art expressions are ways to try to share some of what the artist is. Fuzzy visual feelings are more direcly transferred with comics than with writing, I think that artists that tend to choose comics do so partly because it's better suited to express their feelings than other medias.
Over cinema, comics allow to put the artist's visual feelings "in the gutter".
And the speed of trasmition is generally in beetween books and cinema, witch can be used to the artist's advantage.

So... Why comics, if we exclude feasability and money resons?
I think it's because artists feel it to be their best suited way of expression.
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ragtag
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Joined: 22 Jul 2001
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a more humerous look at it http://www.danberger.biz/columns/whydocomics.html.

Personally I don't find it easy to answer. I can come up with lots of arguments, such as that it's just about the only sane graphical medium I can tell medium to long format stories and retain full control of everything (doing it in animation is the insane variant of that). Or that comics are an exciting medium, with lots of potential for growth. etc. etc.
But for me I think (I'm not sure) it comes down to that I like sitting by myself drawing and making up stories, especially if I get to concentrate on it full time. The sense of achievement after having completed a comic I'm happy with. And feedback from readers that have been touched by my stories.

hmmm....

I should probably stop ranting, and try and figure out how to tie the story for my next comic together.

Ragnar
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tylerisrandom
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Joined: 04 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The initial attraction to comics happened when I was eight years old and wanted to be just like Charles Schulz when I grew up... when something is ingrained into you for that long, it becomes almost anthopological in your attempts to find where and, more importantly, WHY you were attracted to it in the first place.

I draw comics because they're the most instantly gratifying visual method of sequential storytelling. You can tell some sort of story using multiple images in comics just by putting a pen to paper. I exorcise some of my inner demons every day through comics in my own cartoon journal (which isn't on my site because I think the web already has too many comic journals).

I can't express myself as instantaneously through film, since it requires video taping and editing, etc. Static art doesn't do it for me because I'm still a big fan of dialogue, of actually elaborating on the situation at hand. Prose and writing doesn't work either, because it lacks that "visual rock and roll" aspect that cartooning lends itself to.

Wow, I just ranted for three paragraphs and only reached something of a half-conclusion that most likely only applies to myself... hey, I'm new to the forum! I'm sure once I get beat over the head a few times, I'll straighten myself out.
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losttoy
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Joined: 02 Apr 2002
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankly, I think the "why do comics?" question is quite stupid (no offense). Why paint? Why write? Why dance? Why sing? Why do anything? The answers are obvious as self expression, entertainment and personal growth. Why pick one media over another to accomplish those goals is just a matter personal preference, nothing more. The question I think is important is to ask, "why NOT do comics?" Personally, I find no answer for that other than not having as much time as to focus on it as I would like to.

Other than that, I feel there should be nothing left to say. Making something as simple as this into some deep theological discussion is not necessary. Do what you like and have fun doing it.
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allan_ecker
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see two questions:

1) Why comics over other forms and
2) Why art at all?

So... Let's work on the first question, as I do not wish to be typing this post into my senility.

I choose comics, as a form, for a number of important reasons, many of which have to do with my specific strengths and weakeneses, but a few of them really do have to do with asthetics, so I'll focus on those:

Immediacy. Comics have built-in visual hooks; unlike the printed word, a comic can lock a reader in in miliseconds, not seconds; it can be hard -not- to read comics.

Closure. Comics are a medium uniquely suited to the act of "showing without showing". Sure, other media can do it (ever seen "From here to Eternity"?) but comics use closure between every panel, and so, panel to panel, page to page, the reader does not merely experience a comic, but -participates- in it.

Newness. Comics do not have a long "official" history against which newcomers will always be judged. If I wrote a sexually frank narrative with musings on technology and politics, people would call my stuff "derivative of Updike", even if I'd never heard of him. If I wrote the same thing in comic form, critics would say I'd added something unique and bizarre to the "Sexy Losers" genre.

To get the biases on the table, I also write comics because my text description is weaker than my drawing and because my dialogue is stronger than my graphic design talent, although I'm trying to develop that last one.
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