Notes

“Shifts and Living History”

At Comics 212, Christopher Butcher has some interesting thoughts about recent shifts in comics. “So, basically, my theory goes that the manga boom in the late 90s sort of blew up every single thing that the industry thought about comics, and who the audience is for comics, and what comics can do….So how did the rest of the comics industry react to this sea-change? In the pettiest way possible of course, by othering the success of that material as much as they could. ‘Manga aren’t comics,’ went the discussion. They were, and are in many ways, treated as something else. The success that they had, the massive success that they continue to have, doesn’t ‘count’. All those sales and new readers were just ‘a fad’, and not worthy of interest, respect, or comparison to real comics. It was the one thing that superhero-buying-snobs and art-comics-touting-snobs could agree on (with the exception of Dirk Deppey at [The Comics Journal], bless him): This shit just isn’t comics, real comics, therefore we don’t have to engage it.” There’s a lot more.  (Thanks, Mark!)

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