A historically unprecedented gathering of major American graphic novel artists took place at the University of Chicago this past weekend. It was organized by academic Hilary Chute, author of Graphic Women and Art Spiegelman’s editor on MetaMaus. The conference was live broadcast on Facebook, and the talks will be archived on the site linked above.
The opening event was a Q and A with Art Spiegelman titled, “What the %$#! Happened to Comics?”
“The term just came out of what we both [Kurtzman and Elder] knew were the parts of the strip that gave it more flavor but did very little to advance the storyline. That’s what Chicken Fat does… it advances the flavor of the soup and, as we all know now, too much chicken fat will kill you!”
Librarians are the best friends comics have.
It’s important in comics to have a vulgar/gentile tension.
Books allow us focus in a fast-paced world.
We’re post-irony, it’s now neo-sincerity.
On using comics in the classroom: Leave comics alive enough so people can rebel against them.
If children like something, adults get nervous and try to control it.
I found the most memorable Spiegelman quote from this conversation was, if I’m recalling correctly, in response to a question on modern technology and the use of imagery: