What is true of reading printed comics is equally true of reading comics on the Internet, with the added difficulty that stems from the distractions endemic to reading at a computer. How much more difficult then for a curator to attempt to translate the experience of reading webcomics to a museum gallery. Morning Serial shows how difficult it is.
When I first moved to Boston from Seattle in my early twenties, I was filled with confusion, excitement, and the terrifying thought that I had no idea what I was doing when it came to relationships, jobs and the other mysterious workings of the world. Around that time my good friend Laura introduced me to Brown’s first graphic novel, Clumsy. In his book, Brown so realistically painted a portrait of young love–in all of its awkwardness, earnestness and blind idealism–that it all felt immediately familiar.
I’ve been hearing from many creators that the Emerald City Comic Convention is one of the last good “comic” conventions to grace the Pacific Northwest, that it still had “character.” On this, the 10th Annual ECCC, the only real characters flitting about were fictional: two designated convention superheroes, Emerald City Crusader and Crusaderette. If those names were any indication of how unique and how filled with character this “comic” convention was supposed to be, Seattle is in a world of hurt.
The implication is that “vital superheroes” are the apex of comic book writing and that romance comics are beneath contempt for any artist of Jack Kirby’s stature. More accurately, though, a return to simple reality was in the air. Romance comics were the height of American realism in comics.
The interesting question arose at the webcomics panel Thursday night at the Henry: “How do you find all this stuff?” I believe the woman who asked it genuinely wished to know more about webcomics. Between the five artists on the panel, the best answer they could manage was “Word of mouth, definitely.” While this sounds like a good marketing strategy, the answer can only be unsatisfactory to a novice. The answer “word of mouth” simply raises more questions.
One of the marvelous things about the Seattle arts community is its literary heart. Few environments can boast of lit-driven ensembles like Book-It Reparatory Theater and the Bushwick Book Club Seattle. Beginning in 2010, Bushwick members have taken great risk in drawing musical inspiration from written works deeply entrenched in the popular consciousness, if not the personal mythology, of its audience.
Here at the Star, we will not be formally attending ECCC, but we do want you to know about some of the local events surrounding the convention. One such exciting opportunity will be held at the Unexpected Production’s Market Theatre on Saturday night, March 31.