Archive - Nov 2004 - Article
The gentle art of eavesdropping. The fortune (or misfortune) of being talked to by random strangers. The vast panoply of a major North American urban center. These are the social aspects that all come together to make m@b, created by Matthew Blackett. M@b is Blackett’s opportunity to give a weekly three-panel view into his Toronto neighborhood, and how he reacts to that view.
If thereâ€™s a favorite pastime among the literary criticism set, itâ€™s probably defining terms.
Well, maybe tearing down some piece of sub-standard work, closely followed by defining terms.
In anticipation of this monthâ€™s theme, which is a "beyond journal comics" look at webcomics that build from reality, we thought weâ€™d open a discussion of what might be included in this genre.
Feeding Snarky on Photojournalism Versus Picture-Art.
The assignment is "journal comics," and I read some. And yet, I'm turning in a column on my two favorite photo comics, instead of one on actual journal comics. This is because I can't do anything entirely right.
And yet, when I think of "journal comics," even though it's completely... well, not the genre at all... I think of Sinister Bedfellows by mckenzee. And whenever I mention Sinister Bedfellows, someone else mentions A Softer World by joey comeau and emily horne.
As an aside, what is it with producing a photo based comic strip and using all lowercase letters in your name? I'm just asking?
Gene Yang has been doing intensely personal, if not strictly autobiographical, comics for years now---with his Gordon Yamamoto stories, his Loylola Chin stories, and especially American Born Chinese, all appearing in Modern Tales (and Gordeon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks has been published as a graphic novel).
He was kind enough to grant us an interview and talk about the many aspects of his work.
Quasi-autobiographical comics come with a risk alert stamped on the box: "Warning: may be needlessly introspective, self-conscious, ceaselessly overnarrative." "Show, don't tell" becomes "Tell, tell, then show your head. And other heads." The desire to impose story upon life, unassisted and unmitigated, pollutes the anecdote. (Alternatively, one might simply make everyone housemates and inject giant robots, at which point all bets are off.)
Weâ€™re back, continuing our conversation with Brendan Cahill, my old friend and collaborator and creator and writer/artist/programmer of Outside the Box at ModernTales. You can read the first part of the interview here.