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Quote of the Day | ‘That’s not a trend … that’s the job’

by  in Comic News Comment
Quote of the Day | ‘That’s not a trend … that’s the job’

“… the sentiment he’s complaining about is invariably the oldest one there is: ‘The first issue has to give me a reason to buy the second issue, and it didn’t.‘ Yeah: that’s not a ‘trend’ or a ‘meme’ or a ‘fad’— that’s the job. That’s always been the job. That ‘trend’ started at the dawn of the enterprise.”

Abhay Khosla, responding to Eric Stephenson’s commentary on the “trend of expecting the first issue of a comic to explain every single thing about where a series is going.”

I haven’t read Nowhere Men, the comic that Stephenson was defending, so I’m not commenting on that. In fact, neither is Khosla (not directly anyway). His point is a general one about whether audience expectations (however unrealistic) should be seen as a.) a trend to be complained about or b.) something that professional comics makers should understand and know how to take advantage of. In other words, whose fault is it that a reader didn’t enjoy the comic: the reader’s or the creators’?

It’s a fascinating question, and I’m not sure that the answer is as clear as Khosla makes it out to be. Maybe it is if we’re only concerned with how entertaining a comic is, but what if we’re talking about artistic merit outside of the plot? In the rest of his interview, Stephenson talks about Nowhere Men as a work that he and Nate Bellegarde put a lot of creative energy into, including the design as well as the story. And while I can’t speak to how successful any of that is, I think that when I’m looking at a piece of art, my thought process should be deeper than how compelling the story is. It seems like there are some other factors I should be considering as well.

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