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Wednesday, November 04, 2009 

"Adolescence" hasn't ended

Publisher's Weekly writes about how a closer look would suggest that comic books have not grown up, contrary to what some might say:
In 2004, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Michael Chabon gave the keynote speech at the Eisner Awards. Speaking about the maturation of the industry, he referred to some of the excesses of the 1990s as comics "adolescence": "An excess of desire to appear grown up is one of the defining characteristics of adolescence. But these follies were the inevitable missteps and overreachings in the course of a campaign that was, in the end, successful."

[...]

The medium has matured, surely. But what about the comic book industry? I worry that the mainstream comic book industry still as adolescent as ever while the book industry is taking over and making strides by acting like professional adults.

[...]

The view from the outside of the comics industry may view the medium as increasingly worthy of serious attention. However, the view from the inside still reveals a lot of adolescent stagnation—in comics' content, professionals' behavior, and fans' attitudes.
There's another way to describe these inner problems: juvenility. That's exactly the problem that comics still have not shaken for many years. And, if they're going to allow mindless violence and sexism to continue to run rampant (like in Identity Crisis, Avengers: Disassembled, and Batman: War Games/Crimes, Final Crisis, Blackest Night, among other examples), something this article alludes to, if they let their political standings get the better of their writing talents, and if diehard fans are going to act as though nobody's got the right to make a critique for a legitimate reason, among other detrimental problems, the outer world will likely catch on sooner or later, and it'll only serve to jeopardize the industry's chance to save itself.

Oh, and maybe Chabon will want to consider what a laughing stock people like him will be viewed as if he contributes to all the sugarcoating!

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