Friday, June 18, 2004

Comics in the margins: Canada's Georgia Straight looks at Drippytown Comics and Stories and the state of "alternative comics":

"The acceptance of comics in the wine-and-cheese milieu has its good and bad points, Bell says. 'Comics are getting more acknowledged, but then the art gets more elitist. The audience becomes more savvy and the work less mainstream, and less appealing to a wide audience. But that opens it up to a book crowd, people who take literature seriously.'

"The comic-book form itself -- the easily carried, stapled item --is under threat from the more visceral pleasures of video games and, to some extent, graphic novels. Which makes Drippytown one of the last of a dying breed: the anthology in its traditional form. Bell also notes the book's 'community feel', a quality that reflects Lawrence's efforts. The cartoonist first brought his comics-loving friends together in 1990 in an anthology titled Cartoon Party, and in 1999 and 2000 he showcased their work again in The Drippy Gazette. That broadsheet also introduced teardrop-shaped Drippy the Newsboy, who would become the mascot of Lawrence's latest venture."