Sunday, 11 November 2007

Screen writers expected to be witty on their own dime!
Striking Writers Seek Creative Options - Foxnews- November 11.- By DAVID GERMAIN,

With thousands of wordsmiths picketing, you might expect a lot of clever slogans, signs and chants. The picket lines have been sober-minded and businesslike, though. Sawyer heard one striker yelling out to passing cars, "Honk if you love nuanced characters," but most chants have been commonplace patter such as "On strike, shut 'em down, Hollywood's a union town" or "Hey hey, ho ho, union-busting has to go."
Not all writers have their complete attention on striking. Besides jamming with his band, a group called Oliver Twist in which he plays guitar, Goldberg said he's funneling some creativity into scoping out a future wife on the picket lines.
Museum manager explains comic books and how to read them!
The world of the graphic novel: Comic books for grown-ups at the Rockwell- By Charles Bonenti- Berkshire Eagle- 11/09/2007
"It takes a certain level of focus to read them," said Mahoney, who has been a fan of the genre for years. "You have to figure how to move through the panels (of text blocks and images) and decide what to look at first."
Not all graphic novels are as dark or as serious. Some even have humor, though not, Mahoney cautioned, "humor in a ha, ha way."
That doesn't mean there aren't still bad graphic novels, said Mahoney, but like bad books of text, they tend not to survive.

(Wha!? Then why's the crap thriving all over the place!?)
I'm not intending to get into another semantic argument here, just observing the muddle in my usual manner, but notice in the above that he (the journalist) called it a 'genre', as opposed to the library director Jean Pelletiere a few days ago who said "I've just discovered that it's called a format, not a genre."
In fact I find 'format' much more problematic than 'genre', an inoffensive French word that has been made to suffer unnecessary indignities and which I can happily accommodate. However we should not be surprised to find that people mired in the lowbrow art of comic books are buggering our dear English language, or that library directors are not as bright as they used to be (we'll leave journalists out of this consideration as we have never expected much of them) and are apt to just say yes and go along with it all. And so I have noticed over the years the tendency of comic book culture to be incapable of separating 'format' and 'form'.
format
1. the shape and size of a book as determined by the number of times the original sheet has been folded to form the leaves. Compare duodecimo, folio (def. 2), octavo, quarto. 2. the general physical appearance of a book, magazine, or newspaper, such as the typeface, binding, quality of paper, margins, etc.
form
Method of arrangement or manner of coordinating elements in literary or musical composition or in organized discourse: presented my ideas in outline form; a treatise in the form of a dialogue.
A particular type or example of such arrangement: The essay is a literary form. (as are novel, short story, etc.)

Or to put it another way, form is the organisational principle and format is its physical presentation.

To say more would be argumentative.
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update.
Austin Kleon gives a more thorough look than mine at Otto Soglow and the Little King!!! With a good selection of the early new Yorker strips.well recommended.

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7 Comments:

Blogger HemlockMan said...

I love the direct approach when it comes to strike slogans. My favorite was when I was taking German lessons some years ago and I was watching the local broadcast of Deutsche Welle and watched a union on strike. They were chanting:

"Wir brauchen mehr geld! Wir brauchen mehr geld!" Over and over.

"We need more money. We need more money."

Got the message across just fine.

11 November 2007 7:01:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Nicki Greenberg said...

'Though not, Mahoney cautioned, "humour in a ha, ha way." '?

Oh dear, what kind of miserable, po-faced world do they think we scribblers inhabit? What's wrong with a ha or two?

(Though it is good to see them showcasing quality work, even if they do describe it in a muddled way)

11 November 2007 9:42:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

'a ha or two'
well put, Statler.

11 November 2007 10:31:00 pm GMT-5  
Anonymous austin kleon said...

Eddie --

Thanks for the link!

I recently found a copy of EGOMANIA in my local comics shop, and I am wondering: was the "History of Humour" strip ever continued?? I loved it.

11 November 2007 11:13:00 pm GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the graphic novel. It is my favourite format. In particular, Batman is my favourite character. It is so cool how he is cooler than all the other characters. It is so cool that you did Batman, Eddie. Thanks for letting me help. That was cool.




Mick sotto voce, ironico, nero

12 November 2007 1:13:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

I had not realized that Soglow was the guy who had done the little king!
I read some of these as a kid (my parents had a couple of anthologies about the noble art of "Bandes Déssinées" and the Little King was in one of them (the one stuck between Sade's Justine and the biography of Mazarin). I quite liked it too...
(And it was a good introduction to the Mazarin I read next and far more funny than the Sade - not particularly good at getting his readers a cheerful ah a or two that guy - I had suffered through before.)

12 November 2007 1:55:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Mark said...

As a librarian, I'd have to caution you against putting too much faith in the intelligence of library directors. But that would be telling.

13 November 2007 8:17:00 pm GMT-5  

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