« Andy Lau is a Vampire | Main | There are a lot of people who are stupid, that's a common thing. »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

In one of Iris Murdoch's last novels (The Green Knight) there's a party scene with an enormous cast, and Murdoch spills a lot of words describing who's sitting next to whom. Then everybody moves to a new room, and we get another exhaustive seating arrangement. There's no narrative payoff for any of this; it never matters who's sitting where. This struck me as odd, since Murdoch usually delivers payoff. What I didn't know when I read that was that she had Alzheimer's; perhaps she was trying to nail down details that didn't need nailing down as an exercise in combating the dissolution of her mind. I'm certainly not saying McCloud has Alzheimer's, but it sounds like he's got a similar obsessive tic playing out in his work now.

I recall reading or hearing something about how McCloud's theories inspired the pictorial dialogue in the computer game The Sims, but I tried to Google up a citable source and found a ton of articles about McCloud and Dave Sim. Nonetheless, if I'm right about that, the Sims designers have yachts that McCloud helped buy, and maybe the publicity push for Sculptor is payback, or back scratching.

I come from the land of abstinence-only brainwashing, so the idea of someone going a long time without losing his/her virginity is less of a jaw-dropper to me, but pairing that with lots of long-term girlfriends does strain credulity.

I should point out that *I* don't think the simple fact of the character's sexuality strains credulity either, if I didn't make it clear in the episode itself.

Viva good comics criticism. The CBIBH crew, via podcast and writing, turned me on to Seiichi Hayashi and Yuichi Yokoyama. Last week I picked up Mowgli's Mirror by Olivier Schrauwen thanks to you guys big upping him all the time and finally understood what all the fuss was about.

Yeahhhhh buddy!

re the not getting laid thing, I should have clarified more - this is a dude who we're being told went to art school in NY and has been on the NY art scene/party scene for years, is drawn (so far as McCloud's art communicates it) as being quite attractive, and furthermore gives every indication that he's into the idea of getting laid. Does not compute. To me, Joe, that's the biggest piece of supporting evidence for your theory that this might be a YA book in disguise.

Have any of you guys read 'Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen'? It might be an interesting comparison to 'The Sculptor' (which I haven't read): both have a very earnest approach to the power of art as an underlying theme, I would say visually both Horrocks and McCloud strive for clarity, plotwise both involve artists granted magic super-art powers. They even both function as returns to long-form works from creators rightly celebrated for major projects in the 90s. I enjoyed it, although with reservations.

I'm glad I listened to this podcast and was saved from buying another super-critically acclaimed comic book only to really hate it.

Also I just generally enjoyed listening to it. Good episode all around.

I get the feeling you didn't like it.

Thanks for heads up!

This episode was majestic. You guys should have piled on Seconds, too.

The book also misleads us about the status of David's relationship by having him and his new girlfriend live together, and go out on dates, and deal with her mental breakdown together, and basically have a normal adult relationship for dozens of pages -- over the course of which it seems pretty safe to assume that they're fucking as well. It's only after their relationship seems well underway that we find out they've been chaste this whole time. Bizarre.

Ethan's right that the Horrocks book is similar to the McCloud, and in its later pages gets a bit earnest about the power of Stories [which is at least better than McCloud's worship of Art]. Unlike McCloud though, Horrocks knows how to draw, write believable human relationships, and structure a narrative, plus he grounds his earnestness in an idiosyncratic understanding of the history of comics, which is far more personal and fraught than McCloud's generalizations about the art world.

I've not read the Horrocks book... nor Seconds, actually, which I've been meaning to do. I think at least one of us liked it...

If anything, Sam Zabel is much shorter. Still uncomfortably twee while impossible to show to a kid because of vast amounts of nudity, sex scenes and tentacle rape.

Of possible related interest: in Mome Volume 19, Conor O'Keefe delivers a story in which the stupid ignorant masses unanimously prefer harsh abstract sculpture to pretty representations of flowers. Perhaps this explains why all those Thomas Kincaide mall galleries went out of business, but the Hirshhorn Museum is still going strong.

(I do like O'Keefe's comics though, and wish he'd get some more out.)

As a first time listener, I love the long, thoughtful session to a single book. You critiqued The Sculptor with a larger context of comics history, industry and art form. Media publishers should have critics who aren't amazed by comics for adults or bold fonts.

While admiring your analysis, I'm put off by your presentation. Your critique was full of snarky anger with no compassion. You came off as nerd bullies, gleefully ragging on Scott as if he's not a human being. We creative types waive our right to be sensitive when asking the public for money, but as a 50-something I appreciate honesty with tact.

In summary: solid opinions, tone down the snark, and thanks for saving me the trouble of plowing through a 500-page graphic novel I won't like.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo