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Archive for ‘Things I Never Said’


Works for Me. Does it Work for You?

Here’s a great short comic about drinking by Montreal-based cartoonist Vincent Giard. Lots of other terrific short subjects can be found in the BD Section of his site.

Giard uses simple animated gifs to get his effects. I sometimes get misquoted as saying that adding animation to comics somehow instantly disqualifies them as comics at all (in fact, I read it as recently as two days ago). Not true.

While I do think that fully-animated monstrosities like the Watchmen Motion Comic stretch the term to the breaking point, I’ve seen examples of looping animation that work going all the way back to some of the earliest Magic Inkwell strips (#23, for example) by Cat Garza.

The best way I’ve come up with to explain it is that looping animation (and sound, for that matter) still communicate a static span of time. If panel 2 clearly comes after panel 1 and before panel 3, it still feels like comics, even if panel 2 is a short loop of some sort.

The point isn’t whether or not we want to give it a particular label or not, but whether a given comic works as storytelling. Does it feel whole? Can we lose ourselves in the reality of the strip? And in this case, I’d say yes.

What do you think?

[via Randy Oest]


Things I Never Said

Roger Ebert tweeted what he thought was a quote of mine yesterday. It’s been retweeted “100+ times” — which could mean many more — and many are reacting to it.

Nice of Mr. E. to name check me, but there’s one little problem:

I never said it.

During the neverending video-games-are-or-aren’t-art debate on Ebert’s blog, several people brought me up, citing my definition of art from Understanding Comics, and one of them paraphrased the definition which Ebert then put quotes around and tweeted.*

Here’s what I actually said way back in 1993:

“Art, as I see it, is any human activity which doesn’t grow out of either of our species’ two basic instincts: survival and reproduction.”

…followed by pages of explanations of how I don’t see art as an either/or proposition, but a component of human behavior that exists to varying degrees in nearly everything we do.

Got it?

Now here’s the paraphrased (i.e., wrong) version that was rampaging across the Twittersphere yesterday:

“Art is is something people do that doesn’t get them money or sex.” (Scott McCloud)

Not quite the same.

So… Knowing how these things work, I just thought I’d make special mention of it here so that maybe the correction will follow the meme, at least enough to keep it off my tombstone.

For much more than a sound bite on my ideas on art, check out Understanding Comics pages 162-169 and Reinventing Comics pages 42-51.

This all goes with the territory of course, and there are worse problems than being misquoted by Roger Ebert, but I am thinking of starting a list of “Things I Never Said.”

Maybe I’ll start with “McCloud thinks Egyptian hieroglyphics are comics.” [Um... No. UC page 12.]

***

[Edit to Add #1: No I don't blame Ebert, it was an honest mistake.]

[Edit to Add #2: Where I come down on the videogames = art question.]

*[Edit to Add #3!Neil Figuracion originally took the blame, until we both realized it was someone else.]