Wednesday, March 25, 2009

the life and death of comics

This is my review of Eisner/Miller by Will Eisner and Frank Miller...

Two comic book veterans share their opinions about the state of the medium, its legacy and future. Before I go any further, Frank Miller what did you do to Eisner's Spirit (may he rest in peace)?!? Why?!? The great Frank Miller, the revolutionary who gave us the Dark Knight Returns, Martha Washington and Sin City; I've been concerned ever since the unmitigated crapfest that was the Dark Knight Returns Again or some such. Self-parody is marginally excusable after prolonged productivity at peak levels, sure inspiration dries up after a while I understand, but really, did you have to go and kill Eisner's baby? I swear he'd be doing cartwheels in his grave over that monstrosity.

As I was saying this book is a conversation between these two luminaries and it makes for fascinating easy reading, I almost even regained a little more respect for Miller after hearing what he had to say for himself (he doesn't address any of my rant questions from above, he just has an interesting take on comics in society). Over 50 years old, he still fancies himself a rebel and condemns the self-loathing of the industry as a whole. It's always apologizing for itself and it doesn't need to. Eisner speaks with the quiet dignified wisdom that only age can bring, he is grateful to have had a part in pioneering comics and feels (or felt) that there is still potential for comics in the future.

This is where we part ways. I love comics. Always have. Every fanboy hopes that comics wont become the next poetry or jazz. Unfortunately it already is. The glory days numbers wise are long gone. Comics are the word processors of story telling, remember those? Not quite a computer, not quite a type writer, a hybrid of both which is now completely redundant. Comics: Not quite prose, not quite movies, just a dirty ghetto hybrid. Frank Miller probably disagrees. But if newspapers can't survive, what hope do comics have? Don't get me wrong there will always be comics, but they're always going to be niche. I for one can live with that (it seems like niche is the new broad-appeal anyway). Hopefully the webcomics movement can keep the dream alive. Long live comics.

The skinny: super readable, 4 stars.

That is all...

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