Thursday, May 26, 2016

Comic books and moments of weirdness

A wonderful (weird to some?) moment in Chew where Tony Chu displays his cibopathic powers.

Received a good reminder about the value of embracing certain writing, even when it gets weird.

Last week in Oregon, I was talking comic books, among other a variety of other topics, with Courtney and Peter Thorsson. At one point I was talking about my sometimes frustration with the moment in a comic book series when things get weird or go too far out in strange directions.

Peter listened but graciously offered an alternative perspective. To make a long story short, he was reminding me that in some instances embracing moments of weirdness can coincide with a recognition that only some kinds of risks, storytelling, and visual presentations can take place in the space of comic books. In other words, what can comic books do that television shows, films, novels, rap music, and other modes cannot?

Good points. I'll keep it in mind, for sure. I'll want to get clearer too about what I'm reacting to when I label moments as weird and what others mean by that term.

And finally, prompted by those points, I began questioning whether I've done an adequate job introducing my students to enough moments of weirdness in the texts we cover in my African American literature courses. Not hardly. To the extent that my goals involve making them more aware of all kinds of wild creativity and artists moving beyond boundaries, I'll put some thought into pinpointing moments of weirdness in the works we cover.  

A Notebook on comic books

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