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

July 19, 2010

Alt-Comics: A Pekarian Drabness?

imageThese articles are dumb when comics bloggers who barely have two adjectives to rub together write them and they're dumb when writers for the Guardian with a full armory of verbiage at their disposal write them. Despite the fact that a number of examples in his own article repeatedly counter the notion that there's a narrowing of tone or theme in non-mainstream US comic books -- it made me smile to see Cerebus sneak in there -- there's all sorts of convenient examples out there of the range of alt-comics that get passed over that I think it's very fair for him to know about. While I wouldn't expect the writer to be familiar with publishing houses like PictureBox and AdHouse, it's worth noting that his primary examples come from cartoonists associated with Drawn and Quarterly and the big hit for D+Q before its big hit with Dan Clowes' Wilson was Lynda Barry's exuberant and entirely cheerful What It Is. Fantagraphics' big release of the moment is from Jim Woodring, whose work doesn't have much in common at all with Adrian Tomine. I personally think Seth's George Sprott exists in a land far, far away from what, say, Jordan Crane is doing in Uptight, but if you don't, that doesn't mean that in making your point you should get to drop the comics that provided a cleaner break with the "mopey" stereotype.
posted 10:35 am PST | Permalink

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