Are digital devices a “Gutenberg moment” for comics and graphic novels?
It seems an appropriate question to consider on the blog since it is Minneapolis Indie Expo weekend. There is no better place to explore indie comic artists and publishers than MIX. It was also timely that Kerri Miller explored the question on her show on MPR earlier this week with Scott McCloud, author of the fabulous Understand Comics, and Karen Green, librarian and columnist at Comixology. It was a fascinating discussion for me, whose knowledge of graphic novels is probably greater than the average person–since it is an important aspect of my job–but far from an expert.
I am also an outsider on the ebooks vs. print books argument since format really isn’t an issue for me. I am in it for the stories. I am, however, very interested in the ways that format and story interact as I mention in my post about Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes. McCloud actually mentioned that both print books and electronic books have been getting more interesting since the advent of ebooks as people become more aware of format and choose to use the format to its full possibilities. It’s a changing scene for story no matter the format, and I am excited to see where we are headed.
People have strong opinions on how we ought to read books, especially books that are art as well as text, and I am not out to change anyone’s mind. I am merely watching, reading, and listening to the conversation–here is a great post about iPads & literacy–and enjoying the stories–Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary (which comes out in January 2012) and Empire State: A Love Story (Or Not) were recent favorites.
The MPR show ended with urging listeners to check out their local libraries–especially graphic novels. Now that’s good advice, but don’t miss the Mpls Indie Expo. You have ’til 5pm today. After that you’ll have to wait until next year to have all that great talent in one place.