Graphic Novel Review: Best American Comics of 2006 (edited by Harvey Pekar)
Submitted by Joey Manley on April 5, 2007 - 11:01
Believe it or not, I've just posted a substantial review to GraphicNovelReview.com, after allowing that site to lie fallow for several months. My apologies. I've actually been working on this particular review, of the first volume of Houghton-Mifflin's new Best American Comics series, since shortly before putting the site on hiatus. Working on it on and off, that is. Mostly off.
What follows is an out-of-context excerpt from the review, specially engineered to generate the highest-possible clickthrough percentage:
That last observation, of course, points to the conflicts among themselves, and within themselves, that comics insider types always have about projects like this one: in reaching out for the literary readers, the liberal upper-to-uppermiddle, in trying to achieve what Pekar calls â€œlegitimizationâ€ by celebrating the material that is roughly analogous to â€œestablishmentâ€ literary fiction, do comicsâ€™ apologists sometimes castrate the art-form, rendering it less viable and meaningful, ultimately, than it was when a taste for comics was still a trashy, outlaw kind of affectation? Maybe they do. Maybe they should? Whereâ€™s the harm when, looking for new audiences, an editor, for one book, or one series of books, covers up or ignores some of the mediumâ€™s crazy but fun tropes, in favor, just for now, just for a little while, of the â€œrespectableâ€ and the â€œlegitimate?â€ Does this really hurt anything other than the precious little feelings of fanboys and fangirls? And donâ€™t we fanboys and fangirls need to have our precious little feelings hurt, every once in a while, in order to maintain our all-important underdog self-image, our sense of entitlement, and our minority protected status? I do not have any answers for you here. Iâ€™m as conflicted as any other fanchild on this matter.