Can O’ Worms
by Dan Nadel
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Well, my fave comics of ’06 list caused a little tizzy in web-land. And Dirk got kind of annoyed. All because of my flippant remark about Fun Home. My remark was just that: flippant; and not really meant as a substantive criticism (obviously), but rather as an example of a disagreement with the PW list. That said, I don’t really have much to add: I found the narrative devices in Fun Home to be rather forced and the cartooning too often stiff and inexpressive. Most of all, it just seemed overstuffed and not really in control of the medium. Mostly, it just doesn’t interest me enough as a book to write any further about it. It’s not a terrible book, just kinda mediocre.
I don’t agree with Dirk that my not liking it represents some kind of comics-elitist (something I’m certainly not–though I’d like to see a list of qualifications) reaction against mass popularity. I totally understand why it has wider appeal than Kim Deitch’s work (which is vastly more successful as art)–ummmm, that’s the way world works. I’m not surprised at all, nor do I expend any energy being annoyed at it. Culture is what it is and the most we can do is to work for and promote and write about the things we believe in and hope for the best.
And further, contra-Dirk I don’t make my aesthetic judgments based on the relative popularity of a work or what “scene” it emerges from. Who cares about that stuff? I might have at age 14 but certainly not now. I judge things based on their relative successes as art, and that’s it. So that’s pretty much my response. I didn’t like the book that much, but anything else–scenes, cred, popularity and all that other foolishness is besides the point.