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

July 22, 2005

Jessa Crispin on Writing About Comics

This article contains a lot in the way of solid advice for writers tackling the art form, although in a way it boils down to suggesting that editors should at least think of hiring writers who know their stuff. That makes sense. You don't see writers who have never covered opera sent out to do two or three in a week for a feature, or at least you don't see it very often. I can imagine this will serve as a nice reminder that we're at a point where at least some of the readership demands more out of coverage than to see the word "comic book" in print.

I would disagree that not having been exposed to comics automatically invalidates someone's opinion. There's a lot of good writing by 20th Century public intellectuals you'd have to throw out the window were that the case, and there are more than a few book and film reviewers whose opinion I'd be interested in reading on certain comics, newbies though they may be. Having a stupid opinion is generally what invalidates one's opinion, and I think we all know increased exposure fails to guarantee a sophisticated or interesting outlook.

Also, it seems odd to me that in an article calling for informed opinions and the avoidance of broad stereotypes, Crispin dismisses the industry-generated writing she encountered in the Gaiman/Sandman era as minutiae-fests and lengthy disquisitions on superhero plotlines. But maybe I'm just being cranky.
posted 2:39 am PST | Permalink

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