It would seem that today I am using to finally clear out all of those books I started in a moment of excitement, but never finished. The fourth book finished on the day is The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics by none other than Green Lantern and Green Arrow scribe, Denny O'neil. I mainly purchased this book because of O'neil's attachment.
O'neil writes as a writer and an editor at DC, which puts him in a place to give advice. Unfortunately the advice seemed regressive and harmful for any person wanting to write creatively. He offers pragmatic advice by avoiding taking risks with stories and by following the comics formula. This was written 12 years ago, but I imagine the safe story telling is still in vogue today, and may help explain the declining comic book market. This period in mainstream media should be called the Age of Pragmatism because I am tired of art that plays it safe. I don't want the sequel or the typical comic anymore. O'neil seems content to preach the status quo. I can't fault him too much because he is working within an industry where the status is maintained, and as an editor that doesn't want to lose his job he has to play it safe and only occasionally take a calculated risk. I imagine the hardcore fans, much like the extreme teapartiers, will make themselves heard at an imagined misstep.
Reading this guide to writing has brought my frustrations to the surface with what I perceive as problems endemic in mainstream anything. Guess if I want original and experimental I will have to keep reading independent publishers.
Monday, 21 January 2013
In the meantime I need to focus my energies on theory. I need to show restraint and save the next Bell book until I finish Metafiction. Lets see how well I restrain myself. Taking bets.
Sunday, 13 January 2013
Though I do enjoy Neal Adams rather evocative art. He is the artist that was told that any book he illustrated would not receive the comic code of approval just by the way he drew his female figures. They were not exceedingly curvy, but there faces often betrayed something sexual. I imagine that threat came about by his handling of Dinah Lance (Black Canary). It is easy to forget the majority of the comics here were written in 1970-72.
Friday, 11 January 2013
Putting aside her female figures, her drawings also feel very human. Her characters evoke charm, warmth, and emotion. Connor's characters are not ultra realistic, but have a sort of cartoony quality. I would place her art next to any artist working and show how her art better conveys the story than most other artists that take pride in their hyper realism. I am a fan of hers, I just wish she would work with writers that I enjoy reading.
Thursday, 10 January 2013
This was a nice independent graphic novel. I must remember to keep my eyes on the small publishers.
Wednesday, 9 January 2013
Tuesday, 8 January 2013
Her art is simple, yet eerily effective in its simplicity, and her stories are everyday, yet compellingly executed. This is a gem of a book that chronicles three different periods in her twenties and how she was trying to be a professional artist. Part of me did want her to explain her artistic choices as a sort of treatise of her style. As is, this is a lovely graphic narrative with the occasional touch of humor.
Monday, 7 January 2013
So to start the new year I have read one of my books for the upcoming semester. This is a slim book of nearly 180 pages about how some teachers excel where others fail miserably. I couldn't help but constantly visualize myself as a teacher in Korea doing everything wrong. Whenever Bain would point out poor practices of not-so-good teachers I remembered myself doing those exact same things in Korea. Like the ever popular, "guess what the teacher is thinking" game. Or the motivation through grades and exams routine. How I wish I could go back and rectify my style. I feel over the years that I have improved and was closer to what Bain was talking about, though not nearly as successful as the teachers he mentioned. I know I still have miles to go before I am a good college teacher. This was an great way to start the year.