a short essay in comics about art

by Mike Whybark, 1989

click the heart


In 1989, I was just beginning to experiment with comics. I was also plowing through a succesful undergraduate career in art history. This piece represents a shot at fusing them.

I was inspired to digitize this after reading Scott McCloud's "Reinventing Comics" which, to me, had a similar feel. The two works use similar communications strategies, such as a first person narrator speaking through the images and symbols the creator has chosen. Naturally, McCloud's work stands head and shoulders above mine, but it tickles my fancy to see the similarity.

I think that the piece has a couple of interesting ideas that might bear expansion, but I don't think I agree with it that strongly any more. Even when I wrote it, I think it was as much an experiment to see if I could create art criticism in the comics format. Guess so.

However, the idea of magic art, and the whole complex of ideas concerning self-definition, perception, and identity with which art, magic, and religion are concerned remain an important area of interest to me.

I hope you enjoy reading it.

The images are 1024 pixels wide: expand your browser. Additionally, each "page" is about 150k; those on 14.4 modems may wish to skip it.

I have misplaced the master art for the story, and what you see here is drawn from a 3rd generation xerox, so I apologize for the muddiness of the imagery. Geeks may appreciate that the original type for the story was set on an honest-to-god AM Varityper, a photo-chemistry-based typesetting machine on which I apprenticed as a youth, just in time to see the typesetter job category flame out like a struck match. I reset it in Illustrator on my Mac on April 4, 2001.



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