Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hey Washington Post... *thumbs up*

Today in the Washington Post three quarters of the front of the Style and Arts section is devoted to an article on Graphic Novels. The story continues on to the entire center spread of the section, as well as the entire last page of the section. That is a TON of real estate devoted to comics. Add to that the two page spread in the Book World, and the medium would appear to be actually getting a bit of the respect it deserves.

The story is by Washington Post Staff Writer Bob Thompson with Illustrations and comic strips drawn by Johnathan Bennett. The story is written from the perspective of a 'Prose Guy' with extremely limited exposure to graphic novels prior to this journey. He starts out at the Graphic Novel Symposium "SPLAT!" and has conversations with a variety of notables.

He points out a good deal about the medium, and how it is and isn't used in this country, and the factors that have lead to broader acceptance, etc. It uses the comic strips to prove the point about it being a medium and not a genre as some treat it. He also quotes Scott McCloud in referring to the modern definition of so-called graphic novels as really just meaning big fat comics with spines.

I don't read much in the newspaper these days. I prefer to get my news exclusively from fake news outlets. I saw the article, I read the article, and I'm glad I did. It was interesting, I learned some things I didn't know, It took comics seriously and not as a joke or a fluke. It used comics to communicate it's message, but didn't do any of the old standard gags that so many articles have historically used.

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