Curses of Form


“Comic books are for children” or “Poetry is confusing”: just two examples of over-applied generalizations. Comic books suffer the most from these assumption as the notion of viewing material for another gives rise to potential embarrassment. Witness an adult reading a “comic book” and you may send him or her blushing at the discovery. Preconceived notions are common to all aspects of life and in many situations assist us to function. Notions of risk and danger protect us on a daily basis, but when applied to forms of art our assumptions likely leave us blind to great work.

Unfortunately for the comic book its ability to be enjoyed by all ages dooms it to general assumption. If a child can enjoy a piece of art is it less valuable? Certainly a child’s limited sense of understanding is at play here and any work of art able to connect functions on a level that connects to these limitations. Do we then ignore these works of art? Many apply this logic to the comic book and assume that all books filled with graphics are “less intelligent” or made for someone else.

Limiting our exposure to art is both silly and dangerous. An open mix extends to forms (of course) and no matter what form or perceived audience a work of art seems geared to, we are best served by witnessing it all. Active members of culture read all texts. There is no reason to avoid or disregard material- read it all and reflect.

 

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