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Home > Letters to CR

Austin English On The Fall Of The Alt-Comic Book
posted February 2, 2009
 

What is troublesome about this new Diamond policy (and the general reaction to it) is that we seem to be letting a corporation determine the artistic future of comics. Pamphlet comics are a distinct kind of art---very different from graphic novels, with distinct pleasures and qualities. Diamond changes its policy and we say "no more pamphlets." Why cant it be "no pamphlets for right now, but let's find an alternate system to keep distributing them." Readers LIKE pamphlets and still buy a ton of them.

More importantly, cartoonists like to draw 22 page comics. Some cartoonists, I think, are more suited for doing comics in this way. Not everyone is ready (or supposed) to do a graphic novel. And some people benefit from serializing their long works (I think Ghost World would have been pretty different in tone and pacing if it hadn't come out in bits through Eightball).

Because there's still a market for pamphlets and because they are an art unto themselves, we can't let Diamond (which isn't our friend in the first place and not a place where we should have put all our eggs anyway) kill them.