- Posted by Johanna on January 2, 2006 at 11:05 am
- Category: LinkBlogging
Christopher Butcher responds to Time.comix’s Best of 2005 list, a list that I found completely predictable. If you had a computer analyze what are considered art comics and then scan press and message boards for which titles were being positioned as important books of the year, this is what it would come up with. Chris says
Adam Arnold’s list at Time is usually criticised for being too “arty” or maybe even irrelevant to the majority of direct market comics retailers, but considering the financial success and legitimate acclaim greeting many of these titles in 2005, I’d wonder if the retailers not stocking these books are the ones that need to worry about relevance.
But I think he’s wrong. For most direct market retailers, this list is completely irrelevant, because that’s not the audience they aim at or even want. This is a bookstore list, a list that plays best in “cultural capitals” like New York or Butcher’s Toronto or San Francisco. The books listed fail the criteria that I’m finding more and more relevant: are these titles entertaining?
Chris also points out that Arnold overlooked manga altogether, saying this was “a year where a clear manga candidate wasn’t available”. I wonder how much the received wisdom rates with Arnold. Is he considering what people won’t argue with when he makes his list? It’s a seductive temptation to critics, to want to put out bulletproof pieces to avoid catching flak.
Anyway, in the bigger picture Chris wraps up with a resolution:
There’s so much fracturing in comics right now, with the only things that we can all agree on being sort of horrible. I’m going to try very hard this year to open a dialogue about comics that engages the medium as a whole, rather than being ‘about manga’ or ‘about superheroes’.
That’s an excellent wish, and I’m looking forward to seeing where he takes it.