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A FEW WORDS FROM MILTON KNIGHT

About What He Learned at the Recent Dartmouth Comics Conference; to wit:

Dartmouth Comics ConferenceMy visit had a bittersweet taste. New Hampshire was lovely, and so are its people. I was well received at the conference, people bought my books, and the hotel accommodations were fantastic; but the background of the conference, the industry of comics academia, made me sense that I could be a well-loved antique.

The old world of comics is just about dead. In the process of elevating them from ‘junk’ into ‘high art’ (a concept I am perfectly fine with), the fun has been unnecessarily drained away. ... The new ‘mainstream’ is comics that are drab textbooks, nil as entertainment, but a good quick way to chalk up college credits and keep the academic machine grinding.

Now, as a kid, I hated school with a passion. It was prison; it was hell. Today’s graphic novel industry has legitimatized itself by embracing the world of academia, giving the content the stale air of a classroom.

The irony is, this is as much a commercial move as the crassest superhero comic book.
At this time, it’s the autobiographical confessional books the book agents want to see. Creators rush to make them not necessarily to make captivating material as much as to sell books. It’s pandering to a different genre. The new graphic novel arena can be as insular a world as the Marvel offices.

For more Rants & Raves with its comics news and reviews, gossip and cartooning lore, visit www.RCHarvey.com

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