Posts Tagged ‘Best American Comics Criticism roundtable’

Best American Comics Criticism Roundtable: Why Didn’t You Just Strike For Higher Pay?

Posted by on August 26th, 2010 at 2:43 AM

I have to say, reading the first roundtable entries by Brian Doherty, Jeet Heer and Ben Schwartz in this roundtable, I was personally offended. Not because Schwartz spent much of his time insulting me — on the contrary, that was about the only enjoyment I got from his prose. Rather, I was offended because the posts were so frankly, egregiously, jaw-droppingly half-assed.

Best American Comics Criticism Roundtable: In Defense of BACC

Posted by on August 26th, 2010 at 2:40 AM

My response to Noah Berlatsky? I refer readers to my reply to his original BACC blog post. He only offers more personal attacks on me (adding “craven” and “toadying”), more of his painfully limited definition of all things literary, and adds a piece-by-piece and insulting dismissal of the individual authors collected therein.

Best American Comics Criticism Roundtable: As Much Time as They Deserve

Posted by on August 25th, 2010 at 12:18 AM

I intend to give the first round of essays by Brian Doherty, Jeet Heer and Ben Schwartz as much time as they deserve, which is to say next to none at all.

Best American Comics Criticism Roundtable: Unsullied Praise and Happiness Doth Not a Critic Make

Posted by on August 25th, 2010 at 12:10 AM

Caroline Small responds to the roundtable critics: “Substantive, passionate, outrageous polemic — this is a virtue in criticism. The sheer rollicking intellectual high of fantastic ideas about art expressed with great energy compels critics to write and readers to read — without that conviction and intensity the motivations elude me. Yet with only a few exceptions, art-comics critics are consistently resistant to polemic. The world of art comics actively decries polemics within its ranks, and promotes some combination of geekery, enthusiasm, and courtesy.”

Best American Comics Criticism Roundtable: Different Forms and Shapes

Posted by on August 25th, 2010 at 12:05 AM

Noah Berlatsky does not understand the meaning of the word “erstwhile.” Gary Groth is not the “erstwhile publisher” of The Best American Comics Criticism. He is, as the book’s indicia indicates clearly, the co-publisher of the book. My hunch is that Berlatsky thought “erstwhile” was an insulting term and threw it into the mix. This is not untypical of how Noah uses the English language, as a form of grunting and hooting rather than a way of communicating ideas and experiences. If Fantagraphics wanted to do a companion volume of The Worst American Comics Criticism, it would do well to include a healthy dollop of Berlatsky’s prose: Aside from two pieces on Winsor McCay, virtually everything Berlatsky has written is evidence of his complete inability to understand comics (or indeed any other art form).

Best American Comics Criticism Roundtable: Fresh as Today, Icon of Days Gone By

Posted by on August 24th, 2010 at 12:34 AM

Brian Doherty ponders the significance of the Ben Schwartz-edited collection.

Best American Comics Criticism Roundtable: Capturing the Experience

Posted by on August 24th, 2010 at 12:31 AM

Given that I’m in The Best American Comics Criticism and I exchanged some e-mails with editor Ben Schwartz about the content of the book while he was putting it together, you might think that I’m not the person to comment on it. But actually my little inside glimpse into the editing process helped clarify my judgments of the boon, since Ben quite wisely didn’t listen to most of my suggestions.

Best American Comics Criticism Roundtable: Won’t the Real Lit-Comics Critics Please Stand Up?

Posted by on August 24th, 2010 at 12:27 AM

Caroline Small criticizes the Ben Schwartz-edited volume for unnecessarily narrowing the field of discourse.

Best American Comics Criticism Roundtable: A Lost Opportunity

Posted by on August 23rd, 2010 at 1:50 AM

The announcement of Ben Schwartz’s anthology of comics criticism was greeted with a modicum of excitement and expectation which was swiftly followed by a certain incredulity that such a book could be put together at all. Few would dispute the need for such a collection and any disagreements will inevitably boil down to questions of editorial philosophy as well as the individual choices. The retrospective nature of The Best American Comics Criticism (BACC) would suggest that the quality of the final compilation (or lack thereof) can be laid largely at the feet of the editor.

Best American Comics Criticism Roundtable: Not Best, Mostly American, Comics Non-Criticism

Posted by on August 23rd, 2010 at 1:47 AM

Ben Schwartz begins his introduction to Best American Comics Criticism with an anecdote: one day at a mall he heard two young girls arguing about what to call graphic novels. For Schwartz, this was a “definitive moment.” Comics used to be for nebbishy, perpetually pubescent, socially stunted man-boys — but that’s all over. Superheroes are dead, replaced by the teeming offspring of anthropomorphic Holocaust victims. Nowadays everybody from New York Times editors to real live tweens are enamored of the sequential lit. From a niche product for mouth-breathing microcephalics, comics have become our nation’s primary containment vessel for deep meaningfulness. Open them and feel your world expand.

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