I’m wrapping up lessons for the last of my classes this quarter and drinking my last beer, with a stack of books next to me on the kitchen table.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about the more critical and theoretical aspects of making comics and cartooning-reading theory, since I’ve been reading a bunch of McCloud and Watterson essays.
Also, since I’ve been more or less seriously been enjoying teaching and academia this past year, I’ve been working on theoretical lesson plans for types of specialized classes, sort of like proposals. Most of them are just better versions of the writing classes I’m teaching now, but some are about social media, sustainable web tools and web presences, and also COMICS.
On the other hand though…how much thinking and criticism is TOO much? After all, I’m a firm believer in being able to read and naturally enjoy the immediate literary escapism of stuff like comics, so I don’t automatically go into reading comics with a critical eye (thank God). It’s how I approach writing about comics, and how I hope people approach reading the comics I make.
I’ve been thinking alot about my place in comics “blogging” and criticism, especially as I work towards being more on the “creator” side of cartooning and am less interested in reading stuff I don’t like just for the sake of taking it apart, like I owe it to the community and academia to be critical.
In light of the whole “Creator’s Revolution” video that I won’t bother looking for and linking to (though if you’re still reading this and are interested in comics, probably have already seen), Steve Niles (who wrote 30 Days Of Night) started a feature over at CBR’s Robot 6 blog called “Creator-Owned Spotlight”, choosing instead to highlight what he LIKES about indie comics and indie creators rather than using independent comics as a springboard specifically to bash so-called mainstream comics from the Big 2, Marvel Comics & DC Comics. It’s an awesome idea, embracing the positivity of our little pen-and-paper nerd community rather than an “us vs them” attitude.
That’s sort of where I feel I’m falling more towards now, ignoring what I don’t like and favoring to instead focus on what I DO like (quite a bit) and celebrating that. No one really wants to hear about shit you have, because taste is subjective and to an extent everyone’s allowed to like what they want. It’s how I manage to get through the day without viciously attacking everyone who asks me if I’ve read The Walking Dead.
I mean, I got an @reply from Internet-mocked artist and writer Rob Liefeld after I responded to him on Twitter about something sports related, but hey, I read his books a lot when I was a kid and I think he’s a cool guy (he comes across as an incredibly positive and upbeat guy on the Internet), so I thought it was awesome.