Thursday, September 4, 2008

the.effing.librarian loves comics.

I was just reading something and came across a comic strip called "Here," by Richard McGuire (reprinted from RAW Vol 2 #1, 1989, which looks like it's available used for under $5 from Amazon).

I read this strip, only six pages, and was completely amazed. And it's not just me. Searching for info on this strip, I found lots of criticism and praise for the narrative technique. It's not often that you read something that requires multiple viewings. I found myself flipping back and forth from page 3 to 2, then 4 to 2, then 5 to 3; there is so much going on in each panel that isn't clear until some subsequent panel a page or two later.

I've always loved sequential art or comic art or whatever you want to call it. Through the 1970's (later seventies, I'm not that old) and 1980's, when I would visit other cities like Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City or Washington D.C., I would seek out the comic book stores and look for underground comics or anything that wasn't Marvel or DC. When I started library school at FSU, I found a listing in the OPAC for a special collection of rare underground comics from the sixties and I spent a couple of weeks trying to get permission to see them. I don't remember if they ever let me have access.

Eventually, I just collected too much crap, so I stopped searching. Like most things, too much is just too much; you can go from being a fan to being a creepy loner who exists on the other side of the reference desk making repeated ILL requests for Hungry Chuck Biscuits #1.

So lucky for you, some website has scanned all of Richard McGuire's "Here." It really is freaking awesome. There is even a live action dramatization of the comic created by a film student. The video is interesting, but since it only moves forward in time, it loses most of the narrative depth of the static panels. But still, it's interesting that someone made the effort.

And visit Ordinary People Change the World; it's not about comics, it's about people, like us.