Colin's Comment

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ahhh… woke up to cool and cloudy skies. Lovely… caught up on some of the sleep I lost during the record breaking heat wave during the last week or so…

So, sometimes I’m hanging out with the gang at the Mount Pleasant Comics Community Centre (also known as R/X Comics) looking at the new comics and telling myself I can’t buy more than one graphic novel a week and I really shouldn’t be spending the money anyway and damn you Aaron (esteemed proprietor of said R/X Comics) when next to me I will hear the following conversation from people who should know better, intelligent people who read alternative comics:

Customer #1: (Referring to a new graphic novel on the rack) What’s this one about?

Customer #2: Don’t know, I think it’s autobiographical.

Customer #1: (Reacting like he just picked up dogshit) Eeeuuh, all autobiographical comics SUCK!

Customer #2: Yeah, who wants to read a comic from some whining cry-baby?

Uh, guys… I’m right here, eh? What are you thinking? Do you mind not slogging a major part of my life’s work, at least in front of me? Do you go up to people with strollers and tell them their baby is ugly and it smells? Actually, knowing them they just might. It’s not that I’ve only ever done autobiographical comics, I’ve drawn humour, fiction, how-to, adventure with blasphemy, satire, political, historical, fantasy, parody, surreal, science fiction but autobiographical comics have been a major part of my work and I’m not ashamed of it. Of course, it is annoying that “autobiographical cartoonist” is the label that has stuck to me and most people can’t see beyond the label. I know at one point there was a lot of bad autobiographical comics published (along with a lot of bad comics of all kinds) but it seems like the creators of crappiest superhero comic gets more respect from so-called hipsters than autobiographical cartoonists. Maybe if those readers realised how close so many so-called fictional comics are to autobiography (how many times have I asked a cartoonist about an incident in his or her comic and they say: “Dude, that happened to me!”) they’d realise that most fiction has an element of autobiography. Peter Bagge, who for years insisted that he was not Buddy Bradley, realised that Buddy Bradley’s worldview was identical to his own. So, if I tell the same story but change the character’s name from “Colin” to “Fred” or give my main character a cats head I transform some shitty autobiographical comic into and intelligent and insightful “fictional” comic? So, thanks for telling me how much you hate my comics, again, and I’ll try not to take it personally while I struggle to write and draw a autobiographical graphic novel whining about watching my sister die for 21/2 years… should suck…

I remember once reading in the Comics Journal years ago somebody said the only good autobiographical comics were by junkies... as a tea totaller I guess I just don't count... made me want to shoot up a carton of China white, or whatever it is...


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