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Entries in Graphic Novels (1)


Art School Confidential

Art appreciation. I'd appreciate it if you'd put your pants back on. Thanks. 
When I was a wee lad, the genome fairy lighted upon my room and blessed me with athsma. She also blessed me with tonsils the size of golf balls, which flagged down every airborne illness in the county. Henceforth, whenever it snowed, while my siblings built their very own Magic Kingdom out of white powdery joy, I sat on my fat imagination and drew pitch-urs. Usually of Godzilla crushing my siblings or Superman destroying their winter wonderland with his heat vision.

The bad part was that I was deprived of the basic American pastime of having your big brother throw ice-balls at your head. The good part, I became fairly adept at "drawring." That led to, among other things, art scholarships and condescending looks from the hotter members of my high school cheerleading squad.

Fast forward to college and there I am, pencil in hand, drawing some strange naked man my instructor recruited from the local porn theater, for $30 an hour. The one thing I remember about drawing fat naked people isn’t the fat nakedness. It’s the smell. When you’re naked under hot lights, in a room full of strangers, you get nervous, you sweat and…do I really need to continue?

My roommate on the other hairy palm always drew a honey-thighed aerobics instructor that smelled like cinnamon. I never saw her "in person", but let’s just say his sketchbook was worshiped like the Holy Grail on the boys-only 2nd floor of Seattle University’s Xavier Hall. It’s probably still there in a shrine.

Why am I rambling about this? Because it would seem that art has found its place in literature. And that graphic novels have finally arrived as a serious literary art form. I used to think my affinity for them was biased by the nature of my degree. It’s not. It’s because of the incredible storytelling involved.

It’s that storytelling that has Hollywood scrambling to produce the best of the best. In recent years these have included:

        (Time Magazine named Watchmen to their list of 100 greatest novels).

And in case you're wondering, no, I'm not troubled by asthma anymore. And yes, the books are still better than the movies.