This week I toyed with the idea of a Dave theme week–quoting folks in support of Dave Sim’s correspondence policy or Hispanics in support of this other Dave. But both prospects could not hold my attention for long. Instead I opted for the following random quotes, not necessarily all inspired by events of the week. As always, I’ve tried to get a balanced sampling of topics. But here’s my standing offer, if there’s ever a quote of interest I miss in the week, feel free to share it in the comments section.
“I’m particularly interested in those devices that are unique to sequential art narrative – things like page layouts, the use of frames-as-objects and frames that “talk” to one another in multiple directions. These are things that I’d been working with long before I ever had to articulate in words what I was doing. It was only when I started giving talks like this that I had to sit down and find the words to describe the techniques that came intuitively. Right at the end of our session, in response to a question, Neil explained another of those special things, and my heart leapt to hear it: he talked about the wonderful device of the silent panel. Panels that make us pause and think and question and fill out the meaning for ourselves. Moments that hang and quiver, the way time can stretch and stop. Despite drawing many a silent panel in my comics, and very much relishing this device, it had never occurred to me how particular to comics it is. As Neil explained, you can’t get the effect of a silent panel in prose writing – and he’s tried! Brilliant!”
- Nicki Greenberg, capturing part of her participation in a Graphically Speaking – The Challenges of Reading Graphic Novels panel with Neil Gaiman and manga artist Queenie Chan at the Children’s Book Council of Australia Conference.
“We haven’t even seen a proper Marvel or DC heroine playing a secondary role. Now, I love the X-Men movies, but not one of the X-Women was half as tough as she was on the page. I’ve always wanted to dismiss it as Halle Berry hating the role of Storm, or maybe the lot of them being bad actresses … and maybe it is because of all those reasons, but really, they were almost an afterthought. The X-Girls were frequently put out of action in the first two movies, and X3, well, we don’t really have to go there. But it’s rather telling that the Dark Phoenix Saga gets revised from the story of a woman who has the power of the cosmos and eats the sun, to a grouchy chick with a clunky costume.”
- Elisabeth Rappe, lamenting Hollywood’s apparent inability to create films with female super-characters of substance
“More with X-Men than with anybody else, my tendency was to ground certain characters in certain historical events. He [Magneto] grows up in Auschwitz and proceeds from there and it’s a fact of his life.
The specificity of it allows you to say certain things. The problem is, as publishers and audiences get farther and farther from that event, there might be a tendency to not be as comfortable with taking it seriously.”
- Chris Claremont, guest lecturing (along with DC’s Paul Levitz), at Princeton University Professor Andre Benhaim’s freshman seminar, People of the (Comic) Book: Jews and Their Images in American and French Popular Culture.
“I learned to make images with smaller file sizes and I played around with navigation tricks and gags. Clicking on a link will bring you to a mock CIA page that ‘detects’ illegal activity on your computer. I got a bit of vehement disagreement when I wrote in one page that I created Batman and not Bob Kane. I placed a button on one page that introduces a new touch screen technology on the Internet which people fell for.”
- Gerry Alanguilan, remembering the fun he had starting his first website back in 1997.
“I laugh, oh, how I laugh at those who scoffed, I say SCOFFED at my insistence that the comic industry was on the upswing, and stick around, things would be improving immensely with more publishers, more books and lots more opportunity, and yes, Keith Giffen, I do mean you! Five years later, and that guy is so busy he can’t breathe. Told you so, told you so, neener, neener.”
- Colleen Doran, faux taunting Keith Giffen for doubting her optimistic (and now seemingly accurate) projections from five years ago.
“So, until Marvel realizes that is more important to keep their established obligations than it is to stock the shelves with new shiny things, I will be directing my customers to titles I know will be there next month and the month after that and the month after that.”
- Dara Hannon, concluding her thoughts as a retailer about what she sees to be “the sloppy publishing practices of Marvel” and their impact on Marvel’s shipping schedule
“In my own experience teaching English in Mexico and sharing some of the frames from the comic I wrote, I’ve noticed that the dual-language nature of it really makes things click for the students. I prefer ‘dual-language’ rather than ‘bi-lingual,’ which has come to somehow mean teaching English to Spanish-speaking immigrants. Dual language implies a kind of equity. At any rate, comics are catching on. There’s a project to design comic lesson plans at Columbia University and The New York Times has done a feature on comics in the classroom.”
- Eddy Robert Arellano, assessing the continuing potential for comic books to serve as teaching tools
Three Years Ago
“You know, I should probably do a whole post on this, but what’s the deal with the shrinking heroes? It’s such a lame power to begin with that if I were chairman of The Avengers I would get smart like the JLA and limit the team to one shrinking hero at a time. Really, shrinking heroes are like that annoying friend that you have that you’re constantly making excuses for, but you don’t want to dump the poor chump because you’ve been friends for so long. They’re like that. ‘You know, The Wasp is hilarious, and she throws really great parties. Plus, she helps the team out a lot. Well, sometimes. When she’s not getting captured. She’s been on the team like, forever, and she doesn’t take up much room…’“
- Dave Campbell, providing one exhibit as to how, even though he stopped generating new content at his Long Box, there’s still plenty of old posts to enjoy. My only regret? Dave didn’t do more You Tube-related clips like Deathstoke the Terminator’s Theme Song.