Comics and High Art


Phew, unbelievably busy day here. Apparently, there’s some big holiday coming up and everyone wants work done early. Wow, who know, right?

So I don’t really have time for a proper blog post today. But here’s a very interesting article I ran across this morning about a museum exhibit examining the art and history of the modern graphic novel.

Nearly 30 years ago, the noted cartoonist Will Eisner published a long-form comic book and called it a “graphic novel.” The literary world hasn’t been quite the same since.

More than 200 pages long, Eisner’s 1978 book, “A Contract With God,” stands as a landmark in a genre that today is eclipsing traditional comics and making serious inroads into mainstream publishing – not to mention attracting the deep-pocketed attention of Hollywood.

Excerpts from “A Contract With God” – an account of the artist’s gritty boyhood in the Bronx – anchor a captivating exhibition at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass.

Although the exhibition reaches back to the beginning of the 20th century, “LitGraphic: The World of the Graphic Novel” shows how things took a major turn in the 1960s, when counterculture artists, fed up with the corporate, sanitized adventures of Batman and Archie, began crafting graphic novels that were edgy, racy and often confrontational.

Much more there — make sure you go read the rest.

The article mentioned Will Eisner’s “A Contract with God” — which is as good an excuse as any to recommend you make every effort to read some of Eisner’s comics. A lot of comic geeks have already read some of them, but Eisner’s works are extremely accessible, even for folks who aren’t really into comics. Eisner is considered the comics industry’s very best storyteller ever, so don’t miss out on his stuff.

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