Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Abstract Comix

I call it, "Siphoning Gutter Blood."

I recently went to Chicago for a professional conference.  While there, I stocked up on independent and arty graphic storytelling.  Probably one of the more interesting phenomena I learned about is the realm of "abstract comics."  I was introduced to this practice briefly in a two hour "short course" on teaching comics as communication offered by Randy Duncan and Matthew J. Smith (based on their textbook) at the National Communication Association Conference I was attending.  I later picked up Andrei Molotiu's excellent anthology, Abstract Comics, at the Museum of Contemporary Art.  Since returning home to both my computer and my drawing board, I've enjoyed viewing Molotiu's blog, Abstract Comics: The Blog.  And of course, I've enjoyed trying my hand at the form.

My above foray into the realm of abstract comics is influenced somewhat by Andy Bleck's contributions to Molotiu's anthology.  I like the idea of making the frame in comics more organic, imagining each panel connected (like former AK Senator Ted Stevens's description of the Internet) by a series of tubes.    In the comics industry, the space between the illustrated panels is called the gutter.  Scott McCloud, the ultimate meta-guru of comics, considers at length the role of closure in "filling in the gaps" presented by the gutters between panels.  Here, I've offered a bit of plumbing for those gutters, albeit more like alien arteries than down spouts.

I'll probably keep playing with this format, so look forward to more abstract comics pages in the future.

I call it, "Texture with Ghosts."

Hmmm.  Have I found something on the boundary
between abstract and conceptual comics? 
I call it, "Movement of a Simple Thought."

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