Greetings. I just came back from the opening reception of “It’s about Comics” at Scott Eder Gallery in DUMBO. I found out about the show after being invited by a friend via Facebook. Despite my ent…
This is about my experience attending a gallery opening focused on comic art. Warning, it’s pretty intense. I haven’t written anything while this pissed off in a long long longgggg while, and I’m a bit frightened I’m going to wake up to some death threats or something similar. But, well, I also think it’s important. Read on if interested.
So it was basically one guy’s personal collection, and their taste sucks. And apparently, nobody else was really shocked since they didn’t even bother to show up and take a look. Maybe because they read the list of artists and didn’t go looking for something nobody said was going to be there in the first place?
I don’t know, I don’t get what is important here. Somebody went to something they knew they weren’t going to like, then proceeded to prove to themselves they didn’t like it.
Get this: I just finished reading the entirety of Happy Mania - a comic which is frankly (imo), better than any single work by any of the artists featured in this show. Affordable and obtainable to anybody who loves comics and has a little a money to throw around. It was written and drawn by a very talented woman, and is one of my favorite comics of all. I’m currently half way through the first volume of Aya of Yop City, another great comic written by a woman. Beyond that I know dozens of women, professional and amateur, who’re making good comic work. One douchey’s guy’s personal douche-bag opinion about comics and art is not really worth a damn. In the big scheme of things, practically nobody is going to go to this gallery or care about this guy’s take on things. It’s not even worth considering, let alone worrying about.
You can go to a book store and buy something created by women, that’s selling thousands of copies. Why does it matter that some art-gallery snob is trying to (not) sell their collection of old stale art by (mostly) old timer guy artists, for absurd prices? Lately Saga is one of the best selling graphic novel series, but no - let’s not consider that, because some dickhead who means nothing to 99.999% of people who read comics doesn’t think women artists make anything very good - and therefore everything is wrong in comics. Step back and get a little wider perspective on things will ya, tumblr?
I’m sorry for the rant, but people sometimes seem so determined to keep everything negative on this site, and so incapable of giving praise where praise is due, that it drives me nuts.
Hello my dear. A few things:
1. I went to the opening excited to see the artwork and to meet and speak to some cartoonists and have interesting conversation and a generally good time. I did not go seeking disappointment.
2. Despite being a kind of lame gallery, they are not meaningless to 99.99% of the comics population. Few people attended this particular opening because it was poorly advertised/thrown together at the last minute, and it was thunder storming outside. In fact, this gallery has had a number of successful NYC shows, and also often tables at comic cons such at NYC Comic Fest this very weekend, and at MoCCA, CAB, and more. In other words, they have a valuable place in the comics world.
3. Believe it or not, this was not some random, isolated incident for me. I’m sorry you don’t think my experience is important, perhaps you are not a female involved in the comics industry and do not frequently have to deal with gatekeepers of this nature. I do. The truth is, there are many, many, many folks in the industry who still hold such similar beliefs, and unfortunately, they are often the ones on the pedestal with the megaphone.
This is of course true for most artistic areas, and professional areas in general. Consider this post on how women have been represented in the field of science. Same goes with comics. For example, I always think about how I had always thought that Art Spiegelman was the editor of RAW, having no idea for years that it was co-edited by Francoise Mouly. Why is this? Well, whenever I read about RAW growing up (on internet blogs run mainly by men or what have you), her name was almost always excluded. Thankfully this is now changing, and she is getting the recognition she deserves. My point is though, women frequently get written out of history because men are often the ones controlling what information gets circulated. Only since the internet I feel that tables are starting to turn, and the new, younger generation of alternative cartoonists generally seems to have their heads in the right place. But just because you can get Saga at your local Barnes and Nobles doesn’t mean we don’t still have a longggggg way to go.
4. I’m sorry you’re bummed out by us ladies and other “others” being so gosh-darn negative, man, about the injustice and general bullshit we have to deal with on a regular basis. Really, so sorry. But you know, when other people who experience prejudice in ways that I do not (because, I am white-passing, cis, straight, etc), the best way for me to better understand and learn about their experiences is from their own narratives, including blog posts. I think it’s important for people to share their stories, because, 1. Solidarity is important — i.e., whenever someone writes about a frustrating experience similar to my own, I am comforted in knowing that I am not the only one experiencing such things, and that my feelings about it are not irrational, and 2. Education is important — Again, I have learned a lot about the world just from reading other people’s personal experiences on things, and I expect I’m not the only one. You can’t get it all from the press, kiddo!
In the end, I feel the only way for change to occur is for the people to become more informed, and those personal narratives are nothing to turn your nose up about. Nothing is wrong with feeling angry about the state of things, and there sure is a helluva lot to feel angry about these days. And my dear, I think you might be mistaken in your thoughts that no one ever has anything positive to say on here. Take a look at the wordpress blog in which this post originated from, and notice that EVERY OTHER POST is a glowing review of a comics work. So, no, I’m NOT just dwelling on the negative. In fact, I’m almost always trying to shift my focus on the positive, because being angry all the time is tiring and depressing and difficult.
However, every so often, something negative happens that you just can’t ignore. Thanks for taking the time to read my experience, regardless, and hopefully this has been somewhat informative to a few people out there. Y’all the best!
Fucking save us from a comics scene where the kill-yr-fathers fuck-you-old-timers sentiment is generated against the likes of Ware/Clowes/Woodring/Panter/Crumb/Moebius etc. on behalf of fucking SAGA
Also good luck explaining the current state comics to Leah Wishnia, haha, yeah, what does this collective member slash self-publisher slash comiXology employee know about comics today