Wednesday, 5 October 2011

After talking about 'graphic novel' two days ago, i was reminded that a pal recently emailed to alert me to his referring to me as 'the cantankerous writer/artist Eddie Campbell' in a piece he is writing about 'the graphic novel', noting that he had taken care to avoid calling me a 'graphic novelist' (cantankerous seems to be a given).

I wrote back:

'say something positive that cannot be later made to sound negative.'
be your guiding principle. If you said 'Eddie Campbell does not like 'graphic novel' then you would have said something negative. If you said Eddie Campbell says it means one thing but somebody else says differently, then you would have said something negative. There is room in the world for what Eddie Campbell says as well as what the next guy says. Pick one, or pick both, but do not make an argument of it. The rest of the world does not have to hold itself to Eddie Campbell's standards.

Anybody who says 'comics and graphic novels' is causing confusion because they are saying that graphic novels are not comics. Thus that simple phrase implies a negative. Say what you have to say, examine it from every angle and make sure it does not contain a negative.

If you say 'the term graphic novel embraces all that is pretentious as well as all that is progressive in the field of comics' then you will have conveyed useful information. Nothing negative there. By negative I mean writing or talking that is a waste of time, that cancels itself out.



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