Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 5, 2014

Go, Read: Colleen Doran On An Early Fanzine Artist Experience

imageColleen Doran writes about an experience from very early in her career with a fanzine publisher that's interesting for the characters and milieu and as a signpost in her career, but also touches on some compelling issues concerning the ingrained casualness of comics culture and how this sometimes all by itself might encourage inappropriate situations for people -- in her case an underaged girl being asked to draw extreme material, at times, it seems, in a potentially dubious setting.

Doran's story dovetails into something I've been stressing about the last half-year's focus on inappropriate behavior in the comics industry: that a tradition of blurred professional/personal lines encourages situations that can curdle quickly no matter what anyone's intentions might be. This includes a situation like the one Doran describes, similarly over-casual situations described by other comics pros, and I think even some of the abusive stories described at panels and on convention floors -- if you look at a panel or one's place on the floor of a con as a professional opportunity with obligations attached as opposed to a platform to tell jokes or a place to hang out and see one's pals, it reduces the possiblity of acting out being a part of one's day. I think it's a corrective instinct worth pursuing, no matter how we might enjoy or even benefit from other aspects of that part of comics culture.
posted 3:55 pm PST | Permalink

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