Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Boxer’

Best Online Comics Criticism 2010


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

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About a year ago, Ng Suat Tong invited me to help judge his annual online comics criticism event. Not seeing a good reason against it at the time, I agreed. (As you may remember, Frank participated last time around.) It was definitely an imperfect exercise, but I knew that going in. More on that later.

First, the winners, as listed by Suat here. (He also provided commentary on the panel as a whole and some of the runners up.)

1. “The Other Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name”, by Jason Thompson (6 votes)

I was apparently the only judge who didn’t vote for this article, which surprises me. Not because Thompson’s article is poor—in fact, I think it is a fine overview of an exotic (to Americans) cultural subject—but because it doesn’t seem to me to be criticism at all. The closest thing to a critical judgment that I can find in the essay comes in the summing-up statement: “In short, although a few artists like Moto Hagio write serious stories about the consequences of incest and child abuse, most manga and anime creators flirt with incest for kink, comedy and emotional effect.” Not exactly an electrifying insight.

Still and all, if this had been a competition designed simply to identify 2010’s best writing about comics on the internet, I may well have voted for this. But it wasn’t, and I didn’t.

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The Tradition of the Woodcut Novel


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

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Lynd Ward

One of the great things about the Library of America series is that it encourages renewed attention to unfashionable books. Journalism is very present-orientated; magazines and newspapers need the hook of a new book as an excuse for revisiting a classic. Thanks to the LOA, we’ve had major critical essays in places like  The New Yorker and Harper’s on John Dos Passos and Manny Farber.

Lynd Ward is the latest beneficiary. The Library of America has issued a two volume set reprinting six of his wood cut novels, expertly introduced by Art Spiegelman. This set has already elicited a thoughtful review essay by Sarah Boxer in Slate (see here). (more…)

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