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

March 2, 2005

Kurt Busiek on The Gateway Book Myth

imageWriter Kurt Busiek points out the underlying oddness of the gateway book question in a survey at the on-line magazine Sequential Tart. Comics fans, comic book fans in particular, frequently dwell on the notion of books that are more likely to be read by non-comics readers in a way that gets them interested in comics in general. Busiek basically points that a gateway book should be whatever that person wants to read. As someone with little to no desire to get people to read comics if they don't want to, what's fascinating to me is how much of what's offered up in surveys like this one is based on the perceived appeal of a subject manner or genre, which one might imagine is a personal preference, and not just formal issues like what is easy to understand and read. My personal viewpoint has always been that many people are aware of comics, and can manage to get through one if they want to, they're just not all that interested, particularly if it costs them money.

Jules Feiffer's Sick, Sick, Sick: Gateway book for its highly verbal panel progressions, or not a gateway for its treatment of late 1950s urban neuroses?
posted 7:12 am PST | Permalink

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