Thursday, March 10, 2005

Examining graphic novels -- and graphic novelists

In Toronto's Eye Weekly, Guy Leshinski visits "Drawn-Out Stories: Art of Graphic Novels," an exhibit at the Toronto Reference Library featuring original work by Ho Che Anderson, Chester Brown, Julie Doucet, Michel Rabagliati, Joe Sacco and Adrian Tomine:
Because today, comic books proper -- those flimsy pamphlets, suitable for rolling into back pockets -- have been relegated to the fringes of collector-dom, the ugly stepsister to comicus modernus: the modern graphic novel. Thick and relevant and thoroughly earnest, the GN is the comicbook in double-breasted suit, a serious literary concern. It has little time for stapled booklets and even less for bright-eyed fantasies of he-men saving humanity. This puts fans of the medium in a precarious spot, at once proud of their beloved artform's growing popularity and unsettled by the Spandexed skeletons in its closet.