Chris Sims (who I had the distinct pleasure of meeting in San Diego this year, it was a genuine pleasure to finally make his acquaintance even if we do disagree on FilmCritHulk), a man that makes comics, writes about comics, is called upon as an expert witness on comics, and loves comics in ways that you can scarce comprehend, has been playing with a birthday gift. But do his varied visual vignettes veritably find validation as comics¹?
The unimpeachable reference on the topic, Understanding Comics, might seem to imply that the answer is no, insofar as the somewhat wordy definition that Young Scott McCloud settles on is juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, and these goofs from Sims aren’t juxtaposed and we all know what that means: not comics².
But you know what? I would argue that these are not five¹ distinct single-panel comics, but instead individual panels that represent Batman and Robin climbing a very, very tall building, encountering new people at windows every third floor or so. Comics! Even when he’s just playing with his new toy, Sims can’t help but make comics.
Yeah, yeah, they can’t all be 800 words on the nature of creativity, sometimes they’re just about what amuses the crap out of me today, which often as not takes the form of an amazing coincidence³.
¹ At the time I wrote this, Sims had produced five window gags; there may well be more since then.
² Could be worse though — it might be juxtaposed and feature the most miserablist characters ever to grace the form, but as Sims has another two weeks before he has to dig back down into the Funky/Cranky-verse, we’ll let him have his happy times without bringing them up.
³ From Randall Munroe’s excellent what if?, today taking on the topic of orbital speed and
Australian Scottish pop songs.
Edit to add: Many thanks to Fleen’s onetime resident Australian and Killer Robotics Expert for pointing out our error.