But anyway, I was reading Scott McCloud's Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels, and was at a little bit of a loss. Sure, I could give it the plain, regular review - that much like his previous Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, this demonstrates a great understanding of how comics "work" as literature. In fact, it's kind of like an auto manual - if the first book was how cars in general work, Making Comics taught you how to change the oil, the spark plugs, etc. In short, it's indispensable.
However, given that there's a lot of, well, crappy writing in comics, I also wanted to give readers of this blog - as well as interested parties - a chance to do more than just, say, not buy crappy books, but to make a statement. After all, because this blog gets a lot of referrals from When Fangirls Attack, I can no longer refer to women as "sweet cheeks", even as an endearment, because I have a greater responsibility to not promote sexism.
So, here's my proposal, and please follow along - when people would like to encourage a restaurant to banish smoking within its establishment, there are two tactics they can use. In a smoking restaurant, they can opt to not dine there and announce that they prefer a non-smoking place, and then take their money and dine in a smoke-free environment, thus exercising the power of the pocketbook.*
However, I am calling on all readers of this blog - who may also be comic readers - to consider taking the following actions:
- Stop buying a particularly disliked book for a period of time, and set the money aside
- Purchase a copy of Making Comics
- Send it to a writer who you feel really needs to read it.
Sure, everyone goes online and talks about bad books, but does anyone do anything about it? Nah. It's just easier to snipe...and with the increasing number of people who keep saying, "Shut up and get over it - they're just comics", it's probably more effective to take action than to talk. If you don't feel comfortable ordering from the links here, just find a local comics shop that can help. In fact, maybe Mike "Sweet Cheeks" Sterling can help - he's just that kind of guy.***
And finally - please feel free to link to this post. Comment if you think I'm being, well, a bit of an arrogant blowhard. A short time ago, WFA posted a link to a guy who, when he was called out on his BS, deleted the comment and said, "Hey, I just took away your free speech - now you have something to cry about." Of course, he forgot that part of the reason why we read/write blogs is because we want to have conversations that help us drive the medium forward, because at the end of the day, all we really want...are well-written, well-drawn comics.
Let's face it - statues, hentai covers, and badly written crossovers are not the problem, but are the symptoms. The only way to fight this is to take some positive action.****
*I know I've blogged about smoke free advocacy before, but let's not go there this time. It's about the comics, and I'd rather not open the tobacco-free can of worms right now.
**And to pour salt in the wound, remind Winnick that he kicked Puck out of the house on The Real World: San Francisco. That might get him riled.
***OK, I know I said I wouldn't pick on him, but I couldn't resist. Besides, he always calls me "Angel Drawers" in e-mail. No, I won't publish them online, why do you ask?
****And if you want to send Michael Turner a copy of Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice, I won't stop you