as muitas bolhas no nosso mundo

Kevin Mutch "The Rough Pearl"

For such a maligned medium, there’s plenty of room in comics for detail and subtleties in the drawings and texts that can feed into and complicate each other. The more comics I’ve made the more convinced I’ve become that they can be as deep and rich and problematic -- can call as much of the world into question -- as any other type of art.
in "The Many Worlds of Kevin Mutch" 12 out 2020

Mudando de bolhas, segue-se break apart de entrevista no TCJ a servir propósitos ao estado da nossa arte, circa 2020. O autor – Kevin Mutch – não nos é familiar, já o que diz pica bastantes checks das colunas certas. Com trabalhos "set against backdrops of art worlds and academia", tece comparações entre apropriações pós-modernas e tech (*) "A lot of common ground behind 'postmodern' strategies like appropriation and the implications of quantum mechanics." com projectos saídos dessa intersecção:

The entire story was made with a random process by cutting up a stack of old comic books into a pile of their smallest narrative unit, the “panel”, and then combining them blindly to try and create some sort of new narrative. A lot like William Burroughs’ “cut-ups” strategy, but with pictures too.
in "The Many Worlds of Kevin Mutch" 12 out 2020

Além das obras publicadas, outra ponte a notar: webcomics!, naquela longevidade que conhecem destes projectos. (*) "The Moon Prince will be 421 pages when complete (I’m almost there, after 10 years!". Apresentações feitas, destacamos "tensão autêntica":

There’s a tension in the arts between authenticity and privilege, as in: “how can you possibly have an authentic critical voice when you operate in the art world? That’s the most privileged arena imaginable!” But in comics, as a historically populist medium produced by (usually anonymous and poorly paid) craftspeople, there hasn’t been a question of privilege until quite recently. Instead, comics production has tended to reflect a broader pattern. (...) As a cultural field, it was open to working class people. On the other hand, as a popular medium it was hardly in the vanguard of criticality and representation. Comics has come a long way since then -- the advent of “underground comics” in the 1960’s opened the door to all sorts of marginal and critical voices, but that generally came at the expense of popularity. Nevertheless, there are many people working in “indie” or “art” comics today -- people who no one could accuse of “privilege” -- who feel that comics is a real and worthwhile way to be heard. Many of them print and distribute their comics themselves, which might sound like the very definition of an open field -- but it’s a hard row to hoe.
in "The Many Worlds of Kevin Mutch" 12 out 2020

Com muitas mais linhas a crescer à literatura. Arte:

[JK] Let’s start with a “big picture” question: what are your thoughts on the role and purpose of art in society?

[KM] Heh, I’ll go full “evolutionary psychology” here and say that [...] the evolution of apparently “wasteful” behavior like art would be an example of Darwin’s idea of “sexual selection” - the behavioral equivalent of a peacock’s tail. Having bought into that view, I'm not surprised to see fine art mostly used to signify and support wealth, power and status rather than criticize or interrogate it (despite all those bohemian claims to the contrary). I wholeheartedly believe in the possibility of critical art though - I think the best art calls things into question. The problem for traditional art forms like painting and sculpture is that they generally exist as unique objects, which allows any criticality they do possess - any calling into question - to be defanged by their own patrons. The wealthiest people in the world can buy the most radical art in the world -- and lock it up in their homes (or more likely, their high end storage facilities) for decades, or at least until it’s safe to donate to a museum. That’s what’s so great about what the art world calls “multiple” forms like music and books — where it’s possible to disseminate art to anyone with a few dollars. That type of art is much more slippery and insidious - way harder to control!

[JK] Please tell me about Blurred Vision (*) Título de antologia mas pun intented!.

[KM] [In the mid-2000’s] the focus of “alternative/indie” comics scene in North America seemed to be moving away from “autobio” or “literary” comics such as Chester Brown, Julie Doucet and Seth, Chris Ware, Harvey Pekar and Dan Clowes, or Eddie Campbell. [...] A lot of younger creators were gravitating toward “art comics” -- comics that focused on formal qualities like the styles of the images in a comic or the use of panel arrangements and colour. [...] Coming from a background in 1990’s “contemporary art”, which was really dominated by critical theory and Conceptualism, I was struck by the way these cartoonists seemed to be centered on Expressionist/Romantic -- let’s say Dionysian -- types of visual art as their model, pretty much as though they were the be-all and end-all of serious art. So, being bugged by this, Alex [Rader] and I decided to find and publish “art” comics that engaged more with Conceptualist strategies like appropriation and critical theories like poststructuralism that emphasized readings and meaning and ideas. In fairness though, I think a lot of people in comics -- even “art comics” -- are legitimately skeptical of that “critical theory/conceptual/academic” pole of the art world — what I just called Apollonian — given that that’s probably the exact part of high culture with the most historical disdain for the comics medium.
in "The Many Worlds of Kevin Mutch" 12 out 2020

Avanços BD, novelos gráficos, tech e novos formatos: é a cultura estúpido!

[JK] Can you please explain what you mean when you say that comics are a ‘maligned medium’? And what are your thoughts on the cultural position of comics today?

[KM] Comics in North America have usually been thought of as a lightweight entertainment, produced mostly for children. This is changing as graphic novels and graphic memoirs and so on gain greater acceptance in academic and high(er) culture, but it might be a Pyrrhic victory given that the entire model of publishing books on paper -- of reading, in the sense that existed when I was young -- is withering away in the face of video games, movies, streaming television, the internet, social media etc. “Web comics” is the obvious way forward, I suppose, but I think we’ve already seen that longer, deeper, difficult stories don’t do as well there. So given that, I’m not sure if serious “graphic novel” comics have enough time to survive their current, uh, “pupal” stage and emerge as a fully fledged high art medium — but maybe they will. I just hope they won’t be as marginal as, say, poetry!
in "The Many Worlds of Kevin Mutch" 12 out 2020

A indústria dos comics e o $$$:

[JK] How do you see the economics of comics and the market for comics and graphic novels today? And where do you see yourself, your career within these contexts?

[KM] As a share of the cultural economy in dollar terms, North American comics peaked in the 1950’s and have been declining ever since. On the other hand, their influence in popular culture has never been greater -- in fact, it’s never been close to as great as it is now. [...] There’s this idea now of comics - even “indie” or “art” comics - as essentially highly developed “storyboards” just waiting to be filmed, and publishers as “IP” (intellectual property) farms feeding into the movie and TV industries. And even as the absolute dollar value of comics as a product becomes smaller and smaller, their value to the broader entertainment economy has become enormous. [...] So the economics of comics is bizarre - huge entertainment conglomerates like Warner and Disney own the biggest comics publishers (DC and Marvel) and don’t really care whether comics publishing is a viable business any more, as long as the comics IPs continue to make money as movies and TV shows. But the artists and writers making comics typically don’t have a share of the intellectual properties. They’re notoriously poorly paid and professionally insecure - a perfect example of a “precariat.”
in "The Many Worlds of Kevin Mutch" 12 out 2020

A imprensa e os precariats online:

[JK] How much of this, do you think, owes to individuals, probably precariously employed journalists, writers, as opposed to the “comics press”?

[KM] Nowadays it’s probably fair to describe the “comics press” as increasingly driven by individuals, with fewer and fewer printing “presses” involved -- it’s mostly websites and blogs now. So yeah, maybe the theme of the sinking “creative class” is hitting home for people in those fields.
in "The Many Worlds of Kevin Mutch" 12 out 2020

E concluindo em mix do grátis com webcomics e ideias maiores:

[JK] Why are you serializing for free online?

[KM] Partially it’s just because that’s the strategy most of us employ now to get our work noticed and hopefully published on paper. But, honestly, it’s also from a need to feel like the whole exercise is part of the real world, as opposed to something that only exists in my own head (or on my own hard drive).
in "The Many Worlds of Kevin Mutch" 12 out 2020