PR: What Not to Do: Reading Like a Time Capsule
I got an email about a new anthology of alternative comics from the UK. Reading through it, I started having flashbacks to last decade:
Just a short email to let you know that Solipsistic Pop — an anthology that features the very best in alternative UK comics — has launched its website with a manifesto that states the intentions of a new wave of comic artists taking over the UK alternative scene.
There was more about the anthology, due in November 2009, but I’m more interested here in looking at the impression the website gives, especially that first post.
A manifesto? Really? Acolytes of Warren Ellis, are we? That just screams “too young to be so bitter” to me. The 90s were about the manifesto and the tough political stance; now, that approach seems tired and naive to me. You want to convince me of something? Do the work and show me what you’re capable of. Anyone can spew declarations, but few can create art to live up to them.
When I read the manifesto, I was even more put off. It was full of negative statements. We don’t do this, we don’t do that, we reject this and that… I found it the wrong tone to take in starting a new effort. I want more energy put into what you are than in telling me what’s wrong with what other people are doing. Defining yourself in terms of absence — we aren’t this — is tricky and often unsatisfying.
Combine that with talk of building “a new paradigm… a new wave” and I’m going to write you off as immature and more interested in mimicking the successes of others who come before you than in showing me what makes *you* unique. I’ve seen all of this many times before, usually from groups who never end up putting out anything of substance before they tire themselves out and wander away. I’m wondering now if this is some kind of parody, a joke put out to see how many people will be taken in. I don’t think that’s the response you want to your new project launch.