Ahh the Joys of Politicized Aesthetics/Biographical Criticism
From a TCJ Messageboard thread
First up, Allen Rubinstein:
Thought I’d share with y’all.
I was visiting a local shop the other day that separates its books by company (well, by Marvel, DC and other), and I realized how much this board and TCJ has effected my perceptions. My interest in any Big Two book has dropped from low to zero. I picked up one of them, and had an immediate negative reaction to there being a separate writer, penciller, inker, letterer, colorist, etc. Meanwhile, I took great interest in a rack of underground books that I would have just glanced at a year ago, and seriously considered buying some Tomine who I’d never looked at. Of course all I bought was the fifth Smax, so go figure.
Lately, I’ve ordered the first volume of Buddha, several more Crumb collections and Hollywoodland. I bet in less than six months I’ll be buying European translations.
You’ve turned me from a comics fan into a cartoonist fan. I’m glad you use your mind control powers for good and not for evil.
And, on the other hand, Raymond Tan:
I was already a fan of cartoonists rather than comics to begin with before I started coming here, but then I was more or less naïve about the ‘politics’ that was going on behind the cartoons, as in the conflict, the hostility and all that sordidness. I know this sounds stupid, you could say I was an ‘ideal reader’ back then, in a sense that I evaluated comics based on their art alone with no regard for the cartoonists themselves, i.e: I read a Ted Rall cartoon without being aware of all the ‘negative connotations’ and ‘Danny Hellman’, when I see Dave Sim’s name in print, I’d think ‘Cerebus’, rather than ‘Creepily Paranoid Misogynist’…
I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but I wish I could pick up my copy of Strange Wine again without thinking ‘God, that Harlan Ellison is such an asshole!
Everyone loves a good conversion story, no? Congratulations guys. You aren’t readers anymore. Personally, unless the sanctity of a human or animal’s life is in danger of being violated, I’ll choose ignorance every time. Just give me the book. Spare me the cult of personality.
Bonjour les amis!