Pay Your Respects
This John Parker article is attracting a fair amount of blog-reaction (see The Rampagers, Chris Butcher, the wonderful Dan Jacobson), and, along the way, the conversation has morphed (in my mind, at least) from standard “the Emperor has no Blankets” talk to the (again, to me) more important question of the “rage for respectability”… Of course, I do think that Parker’s article has some validity as an attack on the “these comics don’t speak to me about my life” crowd (you know who they are!)–although I’m not sure why you’d even bother to attack these people…
“Realism” is whatever we agree, by convention, to call “realistic”! There is no such thing as “realistic dialogue”, “realistic characterization”, or “realistic plotting”, and I wish the people who clamor for that sort of thing would just stop themselves! Art is, by defnition, “anti-realistic”, and this is a good thing! This is one of the reasons that I always dismiss critiques of (let’s say) the superhero genre as “unrealistic” as red harangues. Let me tell you something friends–they don’t come any more “unrealistic” then Dickens, Hawthorne, Bronte or Melville, and these people were not hampered in their efforts to create fascinating stuff! On the other hand, I imagine that aiming for a philistine standard of mimesis would hamper an artist!
This is why I particularly like the audience-centered tangent that Dan pursued, and so I posted most of my thoughts on this subject at the Blog Found on a Garbage Heap.
Good Afternoon Friends!