19 September 2013

Narrating Personal Interest

I have always loved to draw however I started drawing more seriously in my late teens and subsequently began making comics after seeing the excellent Terry Zwigoff documentary Crumb. I had read Crumb’s comics before, however discovering Crumb’s art and his passion for drawing sparked something in me. Since then I have discovered many talents working in the alternative comics scene like, Daniel Clowes, Julie Doucet, David Collier, and Marc Bell to name a few.

In my 20’s I decided to go to art school. I already had a strong drawing practice and I knew what I wanted to get out of the experience. I quickly discovered that my interest in comics was not necessarily an advantage and it caused conflicts with my lecturers. Looking back and can see how it must have been hard to understand where I was coming from, and admittedly fine art and comics do not mix well.

In saying this I am not implying a value judgment of either creative endevour, and I think this is the common mistake people make when overgeneralising creative endeavours into ‘high’ or ‘low’ forms. People see ‘high’ art as something important, valuable, and worth preserving and low art as something disposable, cheap and not worth preserving. Therefore there was big push to justify comics as high art, to add value and respect to them. I think this can be dangerous as it ignores the literary element of comics and pushes comics towards being in a gallery instead of something held in your hand and read. A similar danger is apparent trying to push the comic medium towards higher literary ideals, whilst it is great to acknowledge the comics medium can contain seriousness and depth of story, we certainly do not need to push the entire medium in this direction. Similar to film, comics can be for any age in any genre at different levels of artistic merit. Regardless of artistic merit, cultural expression of any form still have value.

I try to make truthful comics for mature audiences, stories that adults could read and feel something, gain an emotional experience. The art contained in the comics is perfunctory, it is there in aid of the story, and most of all the art needs to be read, second to this it should look interesting or enticing, which is part of the reading experience.
Some 'Fine' artists work that I found helpful though art school were,

No comments: