This is a couple years old, but I felt it was worthy to share based on a point Sara Quin makes.
Quin was invited to be one of the five panelist on CBC’s Canada Reads. On this program, the panelist bring a book to the table that they think should be the book all Canadians read. They debate and then cast their votes to remove a book until only one remains and is deemed the winner. She selected Jeff Lemire’s Essex County. When the host announces her selection as being the first graphic novel to make it to the top 5 of Canada Reads, she quickly interjects, “Which is nuts!”
Essex County is instantly eliminated. Not only is Sara Quin disappointed, but it sounds like the audience is too. It’s at 8:09, in the elimination process of this video, that Sara points out the lack of acceptance graphic novels receive from an older audience and how, often times, they are not considered a legitimate form of literature. She says, “I’m not surprised, honestly. This is nothing against all of you, but I do think you represent the demographic that isn’t going to read this book. I think it’s a shame because it’s a ‘retro sort of idea’. This book is accepted, these types of books are accepted as novels.” Another panelist says, “Maybe it’s too early for a book like that.” Sara responds, “20 years ago, people were giving critical praise and acclaim to people like Art Spiegelman, and Chris Ware, and the Persepolis series, and I think across the border there is more movement for this type of thing and I hope Canada can catch up.”
They break out into a debate when the other panelist provide their reasons for casting it off, claiming, a book like Essex County, will not encourage people to read more. It won’t solve “our problem with low literacy levels, and problem of creative and interpretive thinking”. They also dismiss the book based on it’s lack of writing. When one panalist says there were times when all she was doing was flipping pages, Quin states, “That’s exactly what’s so sad to me. You obvisouly missed it. I could stair at some of these panels…I mean there are so many stories inside…This is a novel to me. It does force people to access a different part of their brain. I challange people to read this book and read books from this genre. I could talk for hours about graphic novels. They’re doing something that these (traditional) books aren’t doing, and they are writing about relevant things.”
18 x 24”
A limited-edition print created exclusively for WeMake Celebrates and Design Week, happening in October.
This is so fucking cool. My kid loves it too.
Still making comics. Had to take a break for a couple weeks due to life happenings.
A decade + late to the party, i finally read the Joe Casey / Sean Phillips [@seanpphillips] run on Wildcats, edited by Scott Dunbier [@sdunbier]. Bitchin’ kick-ass street-level superhero comics. Precursor to later excellent team of Phillips and Ed @brubaker. I want a Deluxe Oversized Hardcover, please!