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Completely denouncing an entire artform #28364

In the latest issue (#1142) of Private Eye, regarding a play:

"Klinghoffer was condemned on the grounds that it portrayed the hi-jack of the cruise-liner Achille Lauro in neutral, even-handed terms that failed to denounce the Arabs as devils and failed to eulogise the Jewish passenger they killed as a saint. That to have done so would have reduced a profoundly thoughtful work of art to comic-strip status was of no interest to the Wiesenthal Centre."

So, just remember kids - comics can't be "profoundly thoughtful works of art". FFS. I thought we'd got past this a few years ago?

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Worse is the suggestion that in reducing the morality of something to simple black-and-white levels, you're therefore reducing it to a comic-book style of morality. The suggestion then being that comics are only capable of portraying the world in simple, good versus evil, black and white terms. The thing is, perhaps many of the comics of years gone by, which were intended for kids, were like that. But no more than kids' books, for example. But, of course, because some books exist for kids, that doesn't mean all books are childish. Apparently, though, because some comics exist for kids, all comics ARE automatically childish.

It's one of those many instances in which the phrase "comic-book" is used not to mean "as in comic books" but to mean "stupid and immature". Such a comparison has been in the vernacular for many years, but the last couple of decades have started to see a shift in people's attitudes. Unfortunately, not enough of one yet, as demonstrated by examples of lazy journalism such as this. Not enough people, yet, are aware of things like Maus and Jimmy Corrigan - but you'd hope that such pejorative use of the phrase "comic-book" would be restricted to your average layman, not a journalist who should know better. Sigh, and all that.

By Seb Patrick
October 09, 2005 @ 1:28 pm

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Is there other related links to this blog page?

By jack of
November 15, 2005 @ 8:24 am

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