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smug, the observer? surely not!

I'm all in favour of journalists at mainstream publications bringing comics and graphic novels to a wider audience (hell, I've done it myself, lots of times - I did a(n almost) full page interview with Adrian Tomine in the current issue of the none-more-mainstream magazine where I work). But Christ, is it too much to ask that they get the bloody terminology right? The Observer announced the winner of their graphic short story prize (I haven't seen the winner because the Observer was sold out of our local newsagents yesterday) with a piece entitled Manga comes of age. As most of you reading this will know, manga doesn't refer to graphic novels in general, but that's not the only annoying thing about this article.
asily the biggest development in contemporary fiction has been the Manga revolution, or the rise of the graphic novel, which, in Dave Eggers's words, has become literary fiction's 'mutant sister'. We at The Observer are rather proud of our coverage of this vivid, chatty and pictorial genre.

Ah, does anyone do smug and patronising like the Observer? First of all, no one calls the rise of the graphic novel "tha manga revolution" because the likes of the Hernandez Brothers, Alison Bechdel, Alan Moore, Daniel Clowes and the other writers who are increasingly receiving mainstream attention are not manga. And why on earth did they describe the genre as "chatty"? Because it's got voice bubbles? Because it's the same medium as the Beano and therefore must be lighthearted and jolly? Ugh. Idiots.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 15th, 2007 08:22 pm (UTC)
Not only is it chatty, but, apparently, it's pictorial, too! Please, make them stop.
Oct. 15th, 2007 09:03 pm (UTC)
Oh Lord. I'm a relative comics/graphic novel/whatever you want to call them newbie, but even I wouldn't make such a mistake.
There's an oddly self-congratulatory tone to that article, which seems to be saying 'Well done us eh? We're ever so hip don't you know!' Why the media seems to mire themselves in the 'genre' problem (and I guess that applies to sci-fi and fantasy novels too) all the time is beyond me.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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