For over two weeks now, this picture’s been getting a lot of hits here at Big Other:
364 total page views, and counting. Just the image, mind you—not an actual post. What makes this even funnier is that this JPEG never appeared in a Big Other post (well, until now). Instead, it’s a leftover from my discussion with Jeremy M. Davies about X-Men: First Class; there was at one point a part where I said something about Azazel, but it was dumb, so I cut it, and I thought that when I did, I deleted the image. I was wrong.
But since he’s here and people are eager to peer at him, let’s see if we can’t make him earn his keep…
Comic creator Will Eisner’s 1985 analysis of his own medium, Comics & Sequential Art, was an important step in freeing a long marginalized and ancient medium. The need for the cumbersome term “sequential art” shows the cultural baggage that the term “comics” carries with it. The earlier tendency of 1970’s underground comic artists to spell their medium “comix” was a similar gesture. In his book, Eisner considers comics not in terms of film or literature, but as its own medium, with its own considerations. He created a teaching tool to free the panels and dialogue bubbles of the comics page.
Almost a decade later, Scott McCloud surveyed comics and made prescriptions concerning the medium, presenting his ideas, appropriately, as comics themselves. His book Understanding Comics studies the capabilities and obstacles inherent to comics. He investigates the medium as Gotthold Ephraim Lessing did painting and poetry in “Laocoon.”