Thursday, July 01, 2004

John Podhoretz is a friggin idiot:

Put me with Jonah Goldberg and Jacob Levy. And yes I do still “preserve comic books from the [1980s, 1990s, and 2000s] in little clear plastic bags.” And no the guy that sells me my comics doesn’t “resemble Jabba the Hut — if Jabba the Hut wore a t-shirt with a Metallica logo on it.” Rather he looks like a cross between Stanley Kubrick and yes, Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons (There is so much truth in that character).

But seriously, Podhoretz is dead wrong that comic books aren’t a serious art form—or at least, I'd argue, some of them are (He’s as wrong as those who claim the same thing about rock & roll. BTW, Podhoretz was mentored by Allan Bloom who certainly would claim both). Comic books are part of pop culture and like most pop culture—sit-coms, movies, pop music, etc.—there is a lot of “crap” out there. But there is also “the good stuff” as well (and of course there is more “crap” than “good stuff,” but I’d argue than comic books contain a higher % of “the good stuff” than likewise %s in rock music, sit-coms. I’d put comic books on par with movies in this respect).

When the history of the Western canon is revised in the next two-hundred years, expect Alan Moore’s The Watchmen and Frank Miller’s the Dark Knight—and if I had a vote, Kurt Busiek’s Astro City—to make the list.

And some of the art—again, “the good stuff”—is damn fine art, worthy of being shown in art galleries around the world (and sometimes is). Some notables (favorites of mine) include Neal Adams, John Buscema, George Perez, Phil Jimenez and Alex Ross.

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