This week’s NYTimes Book Review has not one but two substantial pieces on Graphic Novels. They’re still too sporadic in the Review for them to capture any kind of overview on the matter — but mentions of comics keep coming.
David Hadju, in his piece “STARS and STRIPS” captures the moment, by saying the obvious:
If anyone really qualifies as the voice of the current literary generation, he or she could well be using the language of cartoons, captions and word balloons.
He also writes an inspired ode to Ivan Brunetti’s anthology of GRAPHIC FICTION (from Yale University Press) — which I look forward to getting my hands on. Brunetti is a very talented man, and the line-up in this anthology promises to be the real stuff.
The other NYTimes piece is by Doug Wolk, and is a holiday selection of comics… A small selection, to fit on one page alas. Wolk writes a lovely piece, and is at his most lyrical when talking about Krazy Kat (in the new Krazy & Ignatz 1937 – 1938: Shifting Sands Dusts Its Cheek in Powdered Beauty, from Fantagraphics):
Written in a cracked phonetic babble (in one strip, Krazy is upset over atomic warfare — “sign tisks … smeshing that poo l’il adam”), it forces readers to absorb it slowly. And what’s really worth lingering over is the broad, desolate background behind Herriman’s kat-and-mouse pas de deux, the desert’s expanses broken only by a gnarled cactus or a half-carved-out twist of orange and green that stands in for the moon.