Thursday, May 7, 2009

When are "abstract comics" not abstract comics?

When they're "Abstract Comics Ideas". (See the second session down!)

I suppose it's kind of flattering, really, that people want to jump on the bandwagon even while totally twisting the meaning of the term...

(I'll exclude Scott McCloud from that statement, because clearly he knows what he's talking about. But I'll shake my fists and, looking up at the bird's-eye-view camera, scream in my best Jon Stewart voice: "Kartalopoulooooooooos!!!!")


  1. maybe the term "abstract comics" is flying around in the psychic ether already.

    meanwhile, Tommmi Musturi suggested to me in an email that comics can be abstract in content, as well as form, which opens up a new can of worms.

    I'm also reminded of the completely different areas which people call "graphic poetry".

    I bet the fronkophones don't have this problem!

  2. "... to concretely portray intangible concepts, from emotional states... to mathematical concepts..."

    i don't believe it.
    what next?

  3. I sense a logical mistake in the "arisin'" --- in several other things I have seen on abstract comics too.

    As far as I can see, the man at the link you give is not talking about 'abstract comics,' but rather illustrating and/or portraying abstract ideas through representational comics; perhaps with the idea of symbolic "conventions" or conventional abstract signs thrown in (like speed lines, etc.). That's quite a world of difference! E.g., French academic painting often claimed to represent abstract ideas like Platonic love and such stuff, was generally illustrating them in conventionalized forms, but was never abstract!

    We'd better get Andrei on the radio, TV, podcasts, stuff like that --- maybe get a session in a comic con or something --- as soon as the anthology is out, so he can get some clear-thinking and some sharp definitions out in the public.

  4. You're exactly right, Mark, about what it seems to mean--and they possibly didn't even intend to use the term "Abstract Comics," it might be just a matter of poor editing. I think what they meant to say was "abstract ideas in comics," or something like that. It's still annoying, though, when that's what pops up as most recent when you google "abstract comics" (as I did regularly to find a number of the contributors to the anthology)--or when members of the public go to the session thinking it's actually going to address abstract comics.


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