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Now now, didn't anyone ever tell him, "there are no such things as stupid questions... just stupid people"?

Once again with the overly broad definitions! So if I want to kick back and read a book (which could be argued to be for survival, by some I guess, but most wouldn't be quite that strict) is that considered art? Yeesh. (I mean not the book itself, but my reading of it. To myself. Alone.)

And after eight pages (a good third of the chapter), we finally get to the mention of the six steps in the chapter title. Pacing, dude!

The steps are a bit weird. When "Idiom" doesn't even have "idiom" in its description, and is instead ocused on style or genre, why isn't it called one of those, for simplicity's sake? And the bit about "the new kid" and the shiny surface... bitter, much? :p

I'd also suggest that not every creation follows those six steps as he claims, given that people work in different ways, for different purposes! I mean, like steps 3, 4, 5, and 6 might all be blurred together in a work that someone doesn't plan out, but just creates. But again, maybe I'm being needlessly picky. And he also seems to be using it more for a person's art in general so... I dunno. He has some good points, but he also seems to be trying to shoehorn life experience into a certain structure that may or may not work for all cases and lives.

"Hostility, rejection, and poverty are also possible, of course." Heh. And ouch.

Anyhow, please discuss!


Next week, the penultimate chapter! Which sounds just so dramatic. See the schedule! For the whole two entries left for this book...

Comments

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khedron
Sep. 22nd, 2010 06:40 am (UTC)
I don't like his describing them as "steps", because he immediately goes into great detail about how people do them out of order. When he says they're arranged in concentric layers from most to least fundamental, I'll more or less agree with that.

The steps are a bit weird. When "Idiom" doesn't even have "idiom" in its description, and is instead ocused on style or genre, why isn't it called one of those, for simplicity's sake?

Well, he calls it "the vocabulary of styles or gestures or subject matter". That goes fairly well with this set of definitions, don't you think? Especially the "artistic style" one.

He has some good points, but he also seems to be trying to shoehorn life experience into a certain structure that may or may not work for all cases and lives.

That seems like it's probably fair. I've been thinking that the entire book comes out of a need to defend what he likes (comics) by giving it a theoretical basis, so he can say "See, there's something to this! And it's art!"

Once again with the overly broad definitions! So if I want to kick back and read a book (which could be argued to be for survival, by some I guess, but most wouldn't be quite that strict) is that considered art? Yeesh. (I mean not the book itself, but my reading of it. To myself. Alone.)

All his cavemen are producing, not consuming - dancing, drawing, making music. If one of them is just watching the others, he doesn't mention it. He would definitely argue that you're engaged in the process of art; I don't know if he'd try to justify that by saying that the words in the book alone don't stand, it's the interaction with the reader that makes the art happen.


(I did like his even-handedness in the gender assignments.)

stormfeather
Sep. 22nd, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC)
That seems like it's probably fair. I've been thinking that the entire book comes out of a need to defend what he likes (comics) by giving it a theoretical basis, so he can say "See, there's something to this! And it's art!"

Yeah, I've gotten that vibe as well. Which isn't to say I don't empathize with his viewpoint, but it does seem to color the book at times.

And yeah, he could maybe argue that reading a book was "taking part in" art, but I still say his definition is too broad and sweeping. But again, that's probably colored by his (suspected) goal.

khedron
Sep. 22nd, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
interview with Stan Lee in Game Informer
Here's some bits of an interview with Stan Lee which are apropos to the book, if not this specific chapter.

Q: "You created a lot of these characters nearly 50 years ago, and now they are featured in movies, TV shows, and video games. How does it feel watching your characters explode across popular culture?"

A: "I'll show you why I'm a lousy interviewee; I'll answer that question. I feel great. [Stops and waits for next question.] Actually, it's amazing. Years ago we never would have thought that some day I'd be interviewed by journalists because I was involved in Spider-Man, because in the early days it was embarrassing to even tell people you wrote comics. They were considered the bottom run of the literary world. Now everything has changed. Now I walk into a room and somebody sees me and they say, "excuse me President Obama, I think I have to talk to Stan Lee." I think the movies and the video games have helped so much in making these characters world famous. So everybody does the work and I take the credit."


Q: "It seems like the line between comics and video games is blending as comics go digital. What do you think of the digital comic book trend?"

A: "I think they're great, and I think they'll get more and more popular. You're going to find comics wherever you look. You're going to see them on your phone, you're going to see them on your TV, you're going to see them on your computer. Maybe someday they'll even have them so you can just see them floating in the air, I don't know. It just shows how wonderful a medium comics are. What better way of telling a story can there be than with words and pictures? Steven Spielberg once said to me -- I'm one of the world's biggest name-droppers -- he said to me, "You know Stan, you and I do essentially the same thing, except my pictures move." But when you think about it, a movie or a comic book, or a video game, they're words and they're picture, and there is something special about telling a story on two fronts."

Edited at 2010-09-22 04:35 pm (UTC)
stormfeather
Sep. 22nd, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
Re: interview with Stan Lee in Game Informer
Huh, very nice timing! Yeah, you can tell how times have changed (or at least are changing) even since the book was written, since that was still coming from the viewpoint that comics are automatically seen as "kiddy" and not held in any esteem for the most part.

Which I think is still the default viewpoint for a lot of people, but views are starting to shift, especially if people are thinking of specifics rather than generalities. Which is to say, I think that even people who tend to see comics as generally less mature, weighty, etc., can readily admit/realize that there are exceptions to this.

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