The webcomics blog about webcomics

So Umm… What?

Gregory pointed us Wordbeasts in the direction of the 9/11 report comic recently, and let me just say this: What the crap? As Greg put it in his email to us;

The idea that someone’s reaction to such a significant document is to (a) put it in comic form and (b) put the comic form on the web, strikes me as being a very positive point about webcomics as a medium.  

I think I agree, in theory. The only problem is that the 9/11 comic well, sucks. The writing sucks. The art is serivcable at best. The wooden dialog and expressionless faces remind me of a Chick tract. Already the good folks over at Wonkette are making fun of it and I think that that is the only way people are going to hear about, from people who are laughing at it. Unfortunately that isn’t going to do the status of web comics as a credible medium any good.

I was of a similar opinion about the possibility of it drawing positive attention to webcomics. But then, I too, read it, and changed my opinion. It’s definitely less old-tymey than I thought it would be, but not nearly up to the standards it should be. But then, I guess the art has to be inoffensive to sell to a broad audience. So more power to them if it gets bought.

Actually, it’s pretty popular in print form (people, you know, actually paying for it).

At the moment, for example, it is the 12th most popular book on Amazon. Earlier today some blogger mentioned that it was 7th when he or she looked (I read a lot of blogs, and I’m too lazy to look through them again and find the reference).

That’s 12th most popular book, period, not 12th most popular graphic novel, by the way.


Fun Fact: The creators were recently featured on THE TODAY SHOW.

Fun Fact 2: The writer, former Harvey Comics editor Sid Jacobson, claims to be the creator of Richie Rich. (As do a couple of other people.)

The blog post Mr. Manley refers to is here:

Making fun of it for being dry, flat, and generally unexpressive strikes me as missing the point entirely. Jacobson and Colon have made it abundantly apparent in quotes and interviews that their intention was strictly to relay the information of the 9/11 Commission Report with maximum clarity, not to editorialize or play on people’s emotions.

Of course, the previous Wonkette post on the subject assumed it was going to be an exploitative cash-in, but admitting being completely wrong about something usually gets in the way of making wisecracks. No big deal, it’s just funny books.

I read the parts of the comic posted on (which PJ linked to) and found the account of the attack quite moving. Since I didn’t read the actual 9/11 report, I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the graphic novel. It seems to me to be a great way to familiarize people with the 9/11 Comission’s findings and the history of the attack. And who knows — if people enjoy reading it, they may be lead to consider other graphic novels, perhaps even webcomics… call it Trickle Down Comic-nomics.

I’m holding out for the sequel, in ten years, five years after the next catastrophic terrorist attack.

Can’t wait!

The original 9/11 report actually hit #1 on the nonfiction bestseller lists, so I’m not too surprised this adaptation is popular. And PJ should have done more research before posting– his read on how the “webcomic” would be received is embarrassing.

That said, he’s got a point. Colon and Jacobson seem to have set out to make their adaptation as uninteresting as possible given the subject matter. For me, they succeeded.

The panel used in the post looks exactly like the clipart used in My New Filing Technique is Unstoppable.

If this comic features the Pie Chart Guy, I’m buying it.

Accurately following a script provided by a Congressional hearing and tracing picutes out of a “How to Draw…” book does not make a good comic. it feels like some of the old comics that taught good Christian morals.

And this is a shame, because this is yet another example of the government finally coming up with a really good p.r. idea and still managing to screw it up. I would have liked to see this done well, because the 9/11 report is important to understand, and comics are more accessable.

Maybe someday they’ll figure it out. Until then, we’ll always have the FEMA rap song.

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