Monday Motivator: Comical Dreams

Monday Motivator

“Historically, comics emerged right alongside the painterly abstractions of the modernist era, serving as something of a populist counterpart.”

Nick Francis Potter, “My Kid Could Do That!”, Field Guide to Graphic Literature, p10

Like “someone” who decided that at a certain age the storybooks we read should no longer have pictures, so “someone” decided fine art in the Western world should not have words (with brief exceptions e.g. Pop Art). Comics possibly even sit at the bottom of the hierarchy: fine art, illustration, comics.

Some artists can’t even bring themselves to use words in a sketchbook. Who decides how many words there can be before it gets called art journalling and not sketching?

In 1992, Art Spiegelman’s ground-breaking work Maus was published, the first graphic book to win a Pulitzer Prize. Fast forward to today and there’s a category of comics labelled graphic memoir/narrative/literature, an intermingling of life and images. Powerful works such as Lucy Sullivan’s Barking.

As the in-house art critic knows, this is a long-held-but-never-pursued interest of mine, with Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics periodically being pulled off the shelf and reread. I have a sketchbook where I write snippets for “the book” about our love and life, losing vocabulary and time through a rare dementia, creativity in the face of loss and fear, and our cats. It’s titled “Wordless”, because that’s a category of graphic literature and a fear. So if five, 10 years from now I publish a piece of graphic literature, it’s not out of the blue, it’s a long time coming.

Some dreams take longer than others to turn into reality.

5 Replies to “Monday Motivator: Comical Dreams”

  1. Not quite comics, but my favourite New Zealand artist, Colin McCahon, at one point used speech bubbles in some of his paintings and ended up using entirely and only words in black and white works.

    https://www.mccahon.co.nz/node/15303

    I’m also in the process of making a painting inspired by Ralph Hotere, who also used words (poetry fragments) in his works.

    Happy World Art Day. 😊

    1. Thanks for introducing me to these artists Chris! I’m going to enjoy exploring their work. I imagine if you like words in art you already know of Tom Phillips in England who did sculpture as well as painting.

  2. I will be looking forward to your wordless story… by sharing our life stories we realize that we are not alone… and life is less scary and more …. More better!🙂

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