Friday, June 25, 2004

Weighing in on comics: Newsday reviews Give Our Regards to the Atomsmashers: Writers on Comics, a collection of essays about comics by the likes of Jonathan Lethem, Brad Meltzer, Greil Marcus and Lydia Millet:

"Atomsmashers contains only three pieces by women. Aimee Bender writes about the virtues of flatness, extolling the 'clean direct lines' of Chester Brown's Yummy Fur comics. Lydia Millet describes the dreamy world of Little Nemo in Slumberland, first published in 1905 and still trippy today. Myla Goldberg contributes a piece titled 'The Exquisite Strangeness and Estrangement of Renée French and Chris Ware,' which is about just that.

"The women remain resolutely outside of the Marvel-vs.-DC matrix that preoccupies many of their fellow contributors. They devote themselves to either archaic or indie comics, comics that are irreproachable in their excellence and tastefulness and general cultural value. The women's choice of subject matter reinforces the book's refusal to acknowledge a truth of comics reading. That truth shaped my early life, and I feel it must be uttered, if not between the covers of Atomsmashers, then at least attendant to its publication. The truth is this: Girls love Archie comics."