Friday, September 24, 2004

Ode to a graphic novel: Writing for Australia's The Age, Juliette Hughes expresses her love for the graphic novel, particularly the works of Neil Gaiman:

"Graphic novels, or comics, or whatever you want to call them, give ultimate power to the reader. You are in cahoots with the preoccupations of the artist as your gaze travels the obsessive line. You start to examine the meaning, the iconography, you become your own Sister Wendy, slavering over beauty or eye-locked to horror. With graphic novels (or comics, or whatever you want to call them) you can take it all slowly, or pass over it quickly; whatever you do, the eye is swift and takes in more than you know.

"Pictures have always enhanced experience: stained-glass windows were supposedly put in medieval churches in order to edify the illiterate multitudes - but that was only the pretext that allowed artisans to create joyful mayhem within a tight authoritarian system. In England many of them were later smashed by Puritans, forerunners of Miss Burns, distrusters of delight."