Monday, April 6, 2009
My interest in "Abstract Comics" stems from my interest in the use of the term "Literary Comics." It seems to me, over the past several years this term has proliferated throughout the world of comics and beyond, and when I read the comics tacitly affiliated with this term I'm usually left wondering why they are "Literary Comics."
When I think of the term "Literary Comics" it makes me ask the question: how does literature work? Basic answer: reading literature compels me to make pictures in my head of what I'm reading. If I were to read "Huck Finn sat on his raft and floated down stream," I would form this scene in my mind... and what's cool to me about literature is that my Huck Finn probably looks different from your Huck Finn, and they're still both Huck Finn.
So I started a series of drawings that would hopefully compel people to form their own pictures. This led to the work titled "Mainstream Blackout" which appears in the forthcoming book Abstract Comics. I do not consider "Mainstream Blackout" to be a comic. As I was working on "Mainstream Blackout" I eventually began to consider each drawing a letter, which is why I stopped with the 26th drawing. After I finished "Mainstream Blackout" I immediately began drawing Medicine Show, which was my conscientious attempt to create an abstract or oblique narrative not unlike the Mixtec Codex Nuttall or the work of Henri Michaux. With Medicine Show I wanted to see if people would be compelled to form their own comics.