Thursday, November 18, 2010

Comics - the holistic artform 

With all the recent discussions in the media about the differences between comics and graphic novels, I'd been trying to search for the right phrase to express how I feel about this artform.

As I often find myself saying to people, I don't see the difference between comics and graphic novels or manga and comics or, for that matter, sequential graffiti and a graphic novella.

We don't try to describe songs, paintings or films in terms of their construction, they just are.

This isn't a "hybrid" artform, it's a holistic artform, and seemingly one in need of an entirely new tag.

My children are currently making their way through the Georges Herge opus of Tintin books. They can't read but successfully 'read' the story through the illustrations without the frustration that adults imagine they would feel at not being able to read the words.

kitchen hand
Some of the Tintins are better than others - "The Blue Lotus" is pretty dense even if you can read the words. Funny how popular Tintin and Asterix remain, pretty much in isolation, when you consider all the other great European titles - Cinebook are doing a good job of making some of them available in English now.

For little children I can strongly recommend the "Owly" books - they're wordless comics with real heart and beautifully drawn in a simple style.
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