Monday 5 May 2008

at last a photo of Gaiman and Campbell. It's out of focus, but the other one Anne took made me look like the grim reaper.

I arrived at the Children's Book Council of Australia's Annual Conference just as several people on a panel were explaining what a graphic novel is (Graphically Speaking: the challenge of 'reading' graphic novels.) I wanted to give it a miss, for as any one who has followed this blog from its early days knows, I have exhausted my tolerance for that subject. But then Anne noticed that we seemed to know almost everybody on it (the blogs of Neil, Nicki Greenberg and Zoe Sadokierski are all linkable from my sidebar.) Neil was up, emphasizing that 'The Important thing about comics is that it's a medium and not a genre.' He explained the same thing earlier in the profile interview in Junior Bookseller and Publisher May 2008, and I'm sure all the four hundred trade people at the show, the librarians and bookstore managers, all knew what he meant. The problem is that the hundred thousand or so who read about him in the Melbourne Age the same day got the garbled version:

"Neil Gaiman is relieved the comic book genre now has wide acceptance, writes Frances Atkinson".
And further down it says: "He agrees that the line between comics and graphic novels has blurred over the past two decades..." the journalist, on her own authority, giving us to believe 'comics' and 'graphic novels' at some time in the past were distinct entities (or genres if you prefer to continue with the befuddlement.) If one is invited to go somewhere and explain what a graphic novel is, then it would sure seem like a good idea, on behalf of the creative community and for the benefit of readers everywhere, to perform the offices to the best of one's ability, but since my debacle with the Sunday Arts tv program last year, for which they shot forty minutes of me explaining it and then decided it didn't fit with what they already understood and threw the whole lot out, I avoid the situation.
It was a treat to see me old pal again and to experience the marvellous hospitality of Peter Nicholls and Clare Coney (see Neil's own post from yesterday)

(If you've arrived here from Neil's link, click the Neil label below for update)



Blogger Matthew Adams said...

Holding your glasses like that you look like the glum peeper, which is probably better than looking like the grim reaper (maybe if you had taken the glasses of the picture wouldnt look so blury).

Do you take it for granted that you get to hang around with people like Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore (admittedly, one can ask them the same question in regards to you)?

Hmm, now I am starting to sound like a fanboy.

5 May 2008 at 22:55:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Neil Gaiman said...

He doesn't get to hang around with me. I get to hang around with him.

6 May 2008 at 00:14:00 GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

You were trying to do that thing with your glasses again, weren't you?

6 May 2008 at 00:21:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

not in public

6 May 2008 at 00:23:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some small irony in that it's Eddie adjusting his glasses, but it's the photo that's out of focus.

6 May 2008 at 05:02:00 GMT-5  
Blogger SRBissette said...

Ah, the press, television and comics. What a tidy fuckabout it all is. My big fun in this regard is now an almost weekly occurrence, thanks to teaching at CCS; I'm finding now that 'they' get it right precisely 50% of the time, which is an improvement over the "Bam! Pow! Biff!" era of newspaper reporting on comics.

6 May 2008 at 07:33:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Hayley Campbell said...

What a couple o' fart lookin' smellers.

6 May 2008 at 11:05:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reaper picture sounds intriguing. May I see?

7 May 2008 at 05:53:00 GMT-5  
Blogger A said...

I think looking like the Grim Reaper could be quite fun. I wouldn't mind.

7 May 2008 at 07:51:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You both look quite hugable.

Jackie Estrada

7 May 2008 at 13:25:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9 May 2008 at 12:58:00 GMT-5  

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