Comics is a Medium, Not a Genre

11:00 am on Saturday, March 18, 2023
5:00 pm on Saturday, March 18, 2023
Stone Gallery 855 Commonwealth Gallery
If there was ever a sentence that makes Comics makers and scholars cringe, it’s this one: “Bang! Pow! Zap! Comics aren’t for kids anymore!” How many times have we heard that over the last 20 years? Too many. It’s my sincere hope that this is the last time anyone writes about comics this way. Comics have never been just for kids. Comics have never been only about superheroes. In one of the defining books on comics, Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud explains that comics are a vessel for expression. He demonstrates that comics are like a glass pitcher: If you are in Spain and having a siesta on the beach in Valencia, that pitcher is for Sangria; if you are at a kid’s party, then the same pitcher is for a red drink; if you are at a bar, it’s for beer, and so on. The point here is that comics are the pitcher – they are a holder of meaning, not the meanings themselves. The goal of this exhibition is to help us all come to terms with the fact that regardless of their content, Comics, Graphic novels, visual storytelling, sequential art, manga, Bande dessinee, etc. are all the same thing.