The webcomics blog about webcomics

Purity: A Tangent

Originally this article was supposed to be about a political comic that really impresses me, but I ended up in a tangent about the definition parameters of the Webcomic. So I’m just going to stick with the tangent for today and delve into the comic tomorrow so that the argument doesn’t overshadow the comic and then we all end up wondering what the hell my point was. There are many opinions on the matter; I’ll just skip straight to mine.

I think if we can treat books printed by online comics as extensions of their work then the same should be true of print to web comics. But I’ve read the hysterical comments made by readers and artists alike who are outraged at being lumped with primarily syndicated comics (hell, there are arguments against collaboration threatening the salient purity, but I digress). Living in Omaha, Nebraska, home of the indie-kids’ wet dream Saddle Creek Records, I bear witness to a great number of so-called purist discussions, much to my discomfort. The web is a medium and not a genre. Comics are comics are comics, even though how you read them may change. There, I said it. People who call online comics “Sell Outs” that want to become syndicated make me crazy.

So tomorrow when I talk about a comic that is primarily syndicated but can be found on the web and if it angers your purist sensibilities because I squandered adjectives on them, well then we’ll just have to discover a way to live at peace with one another, regardless. 

Comics are comics are comics

Couldn’t have said it better. I live in Omaha also so I know exactly how you feel.

And still my world gets smaller. I have no doubt, being in Omaha, that you know exactly what I mean. Most bizarre social mindset, really.

Max- You didn’t happen to work on the North High newspaper the North Star did you?

Sommer, I think you misinterpretted that old Examiner article you linked to. Neither side of that debate was proposing the need for a “salient purity.”

On the pro-collaboration side, Alexander Danner debunked the idea of pure artistic vision, and wrote, “And taking it a step further – there’s no such thing as “pure artistic visionâ€? anyway. The ideas of the writer always get filtered through the abilities of the artist, even when the writer and the artist are the same person.”

And on the anti-collaboration side, William G wrote, “The main problem I’m facing in writing this counterpoint is that I don’t really believe in “pure artistic vision” myself. I know that no vision is pure.”

As for your main thesis, I certainly think the context of a work is important. When comics make the transition from web to print or vice versa, they change signifigantly. I don’t know which “hysterical” discussions you were referring to, but I know of many very sensible discussions of this issue.

The comic is “This Modern World” isn’t it?

Max- You didn’t happen to work on the North High newspaper the North Star did you?

Yep, I did.

Max- I thought your name looked familiar. I worked on the yearbook at the same time and I remember your name from the comic that was in the newspaper I think. How bizarre.

Charles- No it’s not This Modern World. Oh the suspense!

I’m right. I think I know a little more about who you write about than you do.

I guess I’ve already posted my rebuttal to this argument that “comics is comics is comics”. “Thinking about Print”, somewhere back on about page 3.

The process of making any piece of art for a specific medium has an absolute affect on the work itself. A sculptor working with steel thinks about the work completely differently than a scultpor working in marble – or even a sculptor working in brass!

Similarly, and a closer analogy, painters working with oils produce noticably different work than those working with acrylics or water colors.

Also, on the nature of syndication. Chris Baldwin’s Bruno and Little Dee are fundamental illustrations of the difference in work that trying for syndication makes. They’re both *really good*, but Little Dee is significantly less experimental in theme and story line.

[…] Uncategorized Yesterday I said there would be a review of a very good political comic, but I lied. Journalists, man, what are you going to do? […]

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