Who imitates the watchmen?

Over the last month or so, I've encountered a few people who claim they dislike the graphic novel form because they don't like having the world and all its images presented to them; they would rather use their imaginations to create their own picture of the events of a story. (I would ask these people if, by this same logic, they refused to go see the Lord of the Rings trilogy because, gee, wouldn't the images on the screen interfere with their own imaginings of Middle Earth? No, no, that would have required people to be consistent and make sense.)

I just finished reading Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. It is, of course, a fabulous piece of work, dense and powerful; more than once I had to put the collection aside and give my brain time to decompress and process everything I'd just read. But I bring it up here because this work is the most potent argument for the validity of the graphic novel as a medium that I could conceive of. The written words are well-done, of course, but I speak specifically of the way the art and the text interlock to create a rich, nuanced story, constantly playing with and off of the reader's expectations. The art is not the prettiest, but more than once I found myself pulling the book closer to study the panels, Where's Waldo style, trying to pick up on every little detail.

It's true that in many graphic novels, the art does nothing more than illustrate, or worse yet attempts to distract the reader from sloppy writing. Watchmen, however, shows what is possible when text and image work together inextricably and organically. In this case we have not merely scenes but a world, with all the mad, self-referential detail and thickly layered meaning of a dream.

So then I ask myself, can I do something like that? Can I put together elements and make them fit together with the organic precision of an ecosystem? Can I do it while working alone?

I think I'm gonna need more coffee for this.

Crossposted to grailquestion
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(no subject)

Gooood morning everyone.

I will shortly be posting an introductory piece about CJ, which is likely to go near the beginning of the graphic novel. I say "near" the beginning because Sophia's piece will go first, but Sophia is being uncharacteristically difficult. (CJ more forthcoming than Sophia? Will wonders never cease!)

The piece will be locked to this community for copyright purposes, so if anybody's out there lurking, now's the time to join. Feedback is welcome.
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Web Comics, and Cheshire Grin

Web Comics

I love web comics. I think they are a truly great artform, and one that is still young, with much glory and potential in the future. When it comes to humor, tragedy, truth or the sublime, or simply obscure geeky jokes, I think web comics can hold their own against any other medium, be it prose, film or painting. Being a webmaster for Edge of the World, I'm also interested in the technical side of running web comics, be it innovative site design, merchandising and marketing, the building of a community around a comic, or unusual art forms or layouts (hand-drawn, pixel art, photo comics, animated comics, etc). Over the next several months, I hope to do a series of articles/reviews (on the Edge of the World site) of technologically remarkable web comics. I've got a fairly long list of such comics to review, but I'm always looking for more. If you know of any such remarkable comics (remember, the focus is not on the quality of the art, storyline, humor or character development, but on unusual web comic technology and ideas), pass these on to me, either by email or in the comments.

Incidentally, if you like D&D gamer comics, and by that I mean funny, perceptive and sweet stories about the lives and gaming adventures of people at a small-town gaming store, complete with hand-drawn pencil-shaded art, written and drawn by really smart and hardworking Clevelanders, you owe it to yourself to check out Cheshire Grin. What's really amazing (though obviously not given away on the website), is the sheer audacious potential of their storylines coming up in the future, which I've been able to glean from chatting with the author, who was a neighbor to our table at Colossal Con. Definitely a comic to watch.


Oh my dear and lovely readers:

In order to facilitate discussion and help keep everyone up-to-date on the happenings with the comic, I have created a Livejournal community dedicated to Edge of the World. If you do not have a Livejournal, anonymous commenting is permitted.

As always, the forums remain open and available for your use.

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