[comics] Art or not?

Last night I went to the uvScene potluck meeting. Robyn is a vegan so Ken asked people to maybe bring a vegan dish. Turns out EVERYONE brought a vegan dish and supper was fantastic. Homemade pickles, vegetables, rice, couscous and tempeh. I thought vegan food would have to be boring or bland or difficult but it was all very good.

I kind of feel like I was insulting Robyn left and right, though. If you're reading this: I'm not a bitch! I swear. I got to talking about the Cartoon School and how expensive it is and she said, "For an art school, it really isn't expensive." I'm sorry, did you say an "art school"? I thought we were talking about a place where everyone is making cartoons.

Don't get me wrong, I love cartoons and comics and I have a whole bookshelf devoted to graphic novels but... I never really considered it art. Like Monet or Dali or whatever. I think learning about early comics and the infulence politics had on them (comics as propaganda) would be interesting. The history of manga (and things like Buddha/Phoenix vs. more mass market stories like Sailor Moon). Right now I'm dealing with wordless comics (Owly, Sshhh!) and how they tell stories through pictures alone. I think it's all valid and studyable but it's, like... Fun. I don't know, I guess I'm not explaining this right.

By thinking this way, I'm insulting all the author/artists out there: Chris Ware, Marjane, Tezuka, etc etc. "Oh, you're not a real artist because you draw cartoons." Nevermind these people show and tell complicated things like familial dysfuntion, the Iranian revolution and God/Evolution. It's just that it's in the form of a cartoon and that makes it... A joke? Less serious?

Am I a hypocrite? Maybe. But I love comics. The best, most satisfying story I've ever read is The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman (10 volumes of comics).

Whatever, I could go on about this for ages. Maus won the Pulitzer so I should shut up and accept cartooning as a valid art form. Gah! I can't even say that without cringing!

After the food, I left a early to go to Adam's and work on a new hour for uvMix. I got there at 8:00 pm and still didn't get home until 11:45 pm. But it's done. A new hour I mixed all by myself. Ahhhh.

I posed this question over at ILC and promptly got spanked. Ouch.


ke said...

I think that you're even asking that question, that's what makes comics art. Art isn't a pretty thing that you hang in your livingroom, it is something that changes how you think, makes you question, and can even make you angry. So, that's pretty cool that it is making you cringe to think of comics as art.

kaszeta said...

I think I agree with KE's comments. I try not to judge whether something is art or not, since there are so many different kinds of art. Cartoons aren't the same as Monet. Musicals aren't the same thing as Shakespeare. Jazz isn't the same as Classical. All forms of art are different. Some are more serious than others. Some are more challenging than others. Some involve the reader/viewer more than others. So, to me, comics are definitely "art." To be honest, art I don't often understand (and CCS has actually done a lot to improve my appreciation), but art nonetheless.

On the flip side, I understand some of Amy's issues, since I'm a fairly good and serious potter in my spare time. Yet some people think that means I go to "paint your plate" places. People that go there are artists, too, but, it's, well, different from what I do.