Monday, May 5, 2008

The Age gets festooned with comics talk and folk

Open last Saturday's paper, all 15 kilos of it, and it's choc-a-block with comic book folk: there, on page 7: Neil Gaiman's in Melbourne to talk at a children's book conference (Shaun Tan will speak at it too) and en route, he'll Johnny Appleseed some 'comics is grand' talk.

And there, on page 12 of the A2 section, an article about a book about doodling, but the main picture is of Mandy Ord and her ink-stained hands! You read about 'em here, a couple of posts ago...

The above is a detail of Simon Schluter's photo.

And then on page 27, a short review of Bruce Mutard's 'The Sacrifice' by Owen Richardson. I can't find a link to this at the moment, but it got me pretty steamed, I can tell you. Richardson starts with some good points about comics/graphic novels in general, and then mounts a fair description of Bruce's book in particular (although saying that "... the pictures are in the tradition of the exact verisimititude of the Tintin books..." is spectacularly wide of the mark), but finishes the review (and that's the business end, after all) with a summation which is quite dismissive of 'The Sacrifice'. It's unearned, either by book or by reviewer, and I dispute it.

As I say, the smell of this review has hung around me like a dead possum under the floorboards - I will clearly need to deal with it in another post.

But just to tie this one off to say that 3 fair-sized mentions of comics and their creators in the weekend paper seems just about right to me, and it is what I will be expecting from here on in.

1 comment:

Bobby.N said...

I agree with you about 'The Sacrifice's review in the paper. Myself and Paul Bedford thought it was fairly dismissive, but others at our comicbook meet thought it was good.

Well, Paul & I agreed it was 'good' that comics were getting exposure, but they're still being exposed by people who have little insight into 'explaining' them or reviewing them as the medium they are.

As Neil Gaiman's article in the Age (i think) showed - the reporter didn't have a clue as to what comicbooks were - so why in the hell get her to report on it?

I guess i get frustrated at people judging (and communicating) this medium inappropriately. It was hard enough to get to this point of acknowledgement - without it being communicated wrongly. It's like you've finally acheived recognition as an artist, say, called "John" - and people are still asking, "How do you spell that?

Or as they're doing... simply making up the spelling. Anyway - sorry for the rant.