100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

December 05, 1991 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-12-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 8- The Michigan Daily- Thursday, December 5, 1991
Four colors and thought balloons: comics grow up

by Nick Arvin

Unknown to all but a few is an art
form that has lain dormant for
many years, one that has finally be-
gun to stir and shake off the bonds
that have been cast over it. A re-
markable storytelling device, this
art form has the potential to com-
bine the best of the world of litera-
ture with the finest aspects of two-
dimensional art, creating a whole
that is more than the sum of its
parts. Among the art's craftsper-
sons, a select few have finally begun
striving to uncover the possibilities
of the form.
Americans know this art form
by an unfortunate name: "comic
book."
The utterance of the word brings
to mind, for most, images of muscle
bound superheroes in tights end-
lessly battling evil super villains,
while mindlessly spouting a litany
of good, solid establishment clichds.

Admittedly, this sort of comic
still reigns supreme in the comic
book world, albeit with the modern
addition of bloody violence. But, ex-
isting in a small sidestream, riding
on the coattails of these formula
comics, are those attempting to de-
stroy the notion that the combina-
tion of words and pictures is suited
only to children's stories. The cre-
ators of these comics are trying to
establish their medium as one suit-
able for the distribution of adult
ideas and stories. The task is a
formidable one, and some of the
achievements thus far have been ex-
traordinary.
The comic book, like lacrosse,
jazz and the demolition derby, is a
distinctly American creation. The
first appearances of anything resem-
bling comic books were collections
of newspaper funny strips in the
'30s. Then the publishers began to
create original stories to print in
this fashion. Finally, with the re-

lease of Action Comics number one
- the first appearance of Superman
and the first superhero story - the
comic book reached the form that
most Americans now recognize.
A government investigation of
the comic book industry in the '50s

fining the possibilities that the
comic book presents, the Japanese, as
with so many other things, have
taken the idea and run away with it.
In Japan, comics, or "manga," as the
Japanese call them, have achieved so-
cial acceptance and are widely read
by all classes and age groups. The
Europeans have also picked up on the
form as a venue for adult stories and
art. America, the ancestral home of
the comic book, is left in the unfor-
tunate position of trying to catch
up.
Happily, despite the preconcep-
tions most Americans have toward
comics, many comic books of excel-
lent quality, containing stories
written by and for intelligent
adults, have been published in recent
years. In some, such as Alan
Moore's Watchmen or Frank
Miller's The Dark Knight Returns,
writers and illustrators have
stretched the boundaries of the
standard comic book story by taking
the superhero story into the realms
of social commentary, metaphor and

reality.
Others, such as Art Spiegelman
and the Hernadez Brothers, have
gone beyond even this level, using
the comic book medium to relate
tales of "normal" people living in
our "normal" world. A thousand
more variations exist and, as with
any art form, the possibilities are
literally endless.
Sequential pictures combined
with words to tell a story. A sim-
ple idea that has finally begun to
reach its potential as an artistic
medium. Comics of quality and
originality are littered about comic
shops throughout the nation, and
they can even occasionally be found
at mainstream booksellers. Too
many visually and intellectually
impressive comics have been created
for even a partial list to be pre-
sented here. But if you try a couple,
you may well be happily surprised
by how far the stories told in four
colors and thought balloons have
progressed.

resulted in the creation of the
Comics Code Authority, a self-im-
posed censorship agency which vir-
tually eliminated the possibility
that books of any maturity would
be published by the mainstream
comic industry. Not until the '60s,
when an underground comic indus-
try began to develop, did the seeds
of today's adult-oriented comics
first appear.
While America has lagged in re-

UAC /VIEWPOINT LECTURES
PRESENTS
Gender Issues: Today and Tomorrow
BETTY
FRIEDAN
LEADER OF THE FEMINIST MOVEMENT
CELEBRATED AUTHOR OF THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE

CHANNEL Z
Tonight, fiber-anchor David
Brinkley hosts Pearl Harbor:
Two Hours That Changed the
World (9 p.m., ABC), a documen-
tary examining the 50th anniver-
sary of the Japanese attack that
changed the face of World War II,
which will feature interviews
with President Bush and Japan's
Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa.
Or you could just watch The
Simpsons (8 p.m., Fox) - in
tonight's episode, Homer gets laid
off. Dohhh!

Kortes
The path to a man's sensibility is
through his stomach? Aim a little
lower. When Athenian and Spartan
warriors won't listen to reason, the
women of Greece resort to the only
thing that will'get results --a sex
strike. Thus evolves AristophanesY
bawdy comedy, Lysistrala. Freshlj
adapted by Residential College
writing instructor, Carolyn Bat
ducci, the RC Players and the RC
Drama Concentration promisea
show of classic hilarity. Anessa
Kortes will star as Lysistrata, the
woman who puts the safe-sex plan
into action. The show runs tomor-
row through Saturday and Friday
and Saturday, December 13-14 at 8E
p.m. in the RC Auditorium in East;
Quad. Tickets are $5, $3 for studentis
and seniors.
When Richard Bugayski's films
were banned in his native Poland, he
emigrated to Toronto, Canada, and
life has been pretty grand ever since
His film, Interrogation was success-
fully screened at the Cannes Fes-
tival in 1990 and won the Bes:
Actress award. He'll speak tody
about the glamorous 16 hour
working days enjoyed by film direc
tors. Wow, don't you wish you
could be one too. The fame, the
glor'hfinlancial responsibility!
Bugayski will be at the MLB, Lec
are Hall one, at 4 p.m. Admission
p.is ree. uitru i at
Qud ikt r -,$ o tdns

WRITE FOR THE
MICHIGAN DAILY

p0
Tickets
Available
at all
Ticketmaster
Outlets

University
Activities
Center

764-0552
If you're looking for theatre that is
fiery,
startling,
ribald,
bold,
funny,
passionate,
poetic,
frenetic,
barely controlled,
over the edge-
don't miss
MaratiSade
Peter Weiss' award-winning drama with music
University Players " Power Center " Dec. 5 - 7 at 8 PM; Dec. 8 at 2 PM
Student tickets $6 at the League Ticket Office.
The U-M School of Music-
Celebrating 75 years
of'U-M theatre

nonru Pqthon
Two Collections of
their BEST Sketches
December 6&7
8:30pm, MLB aud. 3.

Monday, Dec. 9, 1991
7:30pm Rackham Auditorium

:
:

M-Flicks

A ATE ROR61470
5TH AVE. AT UBERTYJ61.000

r

$3' O o DAILY SHOWS BEFORE 6 PM
.UU RGAJN TliES. RETURNS IN JANUARY)

Now on sale- Gargoyle T-shirts
Buyone rand I'l be
**9 your best fr;end.
of course, you
b eS+
NAG4l/N
%5.~
im
O~-.
. .1NE
Rea~ves. ,<
t t
;Rear view of Arnold "No Arms, no legs, no head"
McCarthy sporting Gargoyle's new T-shirt (legs not shown.) **
Ever have trouble finding the Arb? The UGLi? The

STUDENT WttH ID. $3.50
Black Robe(m
The Man in the Moon imm
Combo Coupon!
Present this coupon when
Purchasing a large
popcorn and receiveone
-- Large i
-1 expiros 12/16/91

i

"Clear and utterly sober...
when it comes to political
correctness, there will surely
be no other book this year
that so conspicuously fails
every test. -- The New York Times

CANCUN n
DAYTONA
BA BEST HOTEL GUARANTEE
SBEST PRICE GUARANTEE
V4 BEST LOCATION
y COMPLETE HOLIDAY
PACKAGE
« 7 NIGHTS ACCOMMODATION AT
CENTRALLY LOCATED HOTELS
* SERVICES OF REPRESENTATIVES
* EXCLUSIVE "POOL PARTIES"
* COMPLETE ITINERARY OUTLINING
DAILY ACTIVITIES
" EXCLUSIVE "NEON" WRISTBAND
AND DISCOUNT CARDS
4 a AE FM tE OF JA S~EIEO GATEWAYS
" I.S TAANM~AflON
I PA Wla N t MI* .,r \

it

01

i

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan