Monday, August 27, 2007

Reading Comics by Douglas Wolk

Over at Newsarama, they're doing a multi-part interview with Douglas Wolk, the author of the book Reading Comics. You can learn more about the book at this website, and you can read the two parts of the interview here and here.

The entire latter half of the book, Reviews and Commentary, involves Wolk doing a bit of critical analyses in each chapter of a different writer or artist. He's got a chapter on Chester Brown, a chapter on each of the Hernandez brothers, one on Moore, one on Morrison. It's interesting stuff, and worthwhile discusssion, but the real meat of the book comes in the first half, Theory and History.

The first part of the first chapter of this Theory section is subtitled "The Golden Age is now," an idea which Chad addressed in an earlier entry on this blog. Also in that first chapter is a discussion of how necessary comics criticism is and some issues Wolk has with McCloud's definition of comics, both of which are also subjects we've explored in this very blog in the past.

In other words, he says a lot of stuff, even in the first chapter, that Chad and I have been talking about and thinking about for a while now. It's basically like it's our thoughts on paper. While I didn't agree with everything in those first chapters of Theory, and while I might have picked different writers and artists to focus on in the second half, I cannot help but feel that in some alternate universe I would have written a book very similar to this one. I highly recommend reading it, because all I've done is touch the tip of the iceberg; it contains a lot of great ideas that, even if you don't subscribe to all of them, will at least make you think.

EDITED BY CHAD AT 8:16 PM SAME DAY: Within an hour of Steve posting this, Newsarama put up the first in a serialisation of the chapter on Grant Morrison from Wolk's book. Further installments will run this week. I haven't gotten the book yet, so I'll be reading them. Good way to see just what Steve's talking about.