Latest Worlds in Panels: comics and openness to other arts and media

A couple of days ago, my March column posted to PopMatters. I look at the impulse among creators, readers, and critics of comics to relate the form to other media:

Such references can be problematic, unintentionally implying that comics is subordinate to film both historically and as a form of art, but they are also culturally convenient and the adaptation of terms from film analysis to comics can be an effective way for artists, critics, and readers to explain the meaning, significance, or effect of a particular book, page, or panel. As I already implied, this is how a critical and practical language for film was initially innovated: by borrowing, and bending, concepts related to other, more established and critically recognized, arts and forms of expression.

Read the column

New Worlds in Panels this week: a year of digital comics

My latest column posted at PopMatters on Thursday. I reflect on a year of buying and reading digital comics, updating the series with which I began 2012.

I continue to experiment with ways to read mainly because one point I made in my initial column on this topic is still salient: “…. digital comics are almost entirely being made from print comics or comics that are made with print as the primary format and digital as a secondary or adjunct release.” While one can find comics that are made with digital as the primary format and that also experiment with the different possibilities of digital—like, for example, the previously referenced Valentine by Alex de Campi and Christine Larsen, Power Play by Kurt Christenson and Reily Brown, or the books in Marvel’s Infinity line—such offerings are the exception. The vast majority of digital comics, even those made expressly for digital distribution, are built on the established book and pamphlet template.

Read the full column.


New column: when movies make people want to read comics

In my latest “World in Panels”, posted earlier this week, I have some advice for guiding people who want to read comics after, or to catch up for, movies like The Avengers:

For these kinds of superhero films, the problem of moving from page to screen and back again is that there’s no authoritative text for the writer to reference or for would-be readers to access. These movies are better thought of as character adaptations than adaptations of specific books. When seen that way, one thing that becomes clear is that the characters are already transmedia creations.

Read the column.