The idea of comics generally evokes one of two images in the mind of the general populace: silly cartoons in the newspaper, or juvenile super-hero cartoons in the store. The actual work produced usually supports this stereotype, as almost all of the comics in any bookstore are super-heroes or funnies. A look at the medium of comics itself, however, without preconceptions of genre or style, reveals a multitude of unexplored possibilities. As Scott McCloud demonstrated in Understanding Comics, the medium can engage viewers in serious questions. In response to his book and work by seventeenth century artists, I drew a comic about the contemplation of death in Baroque art and culture, as well as traditional and recent reinterpretations of such themes. In so doing, I attempted to show some of the critical potential of the approach. A comic work of nonfiction is a new idea to most people, but the art form of comics can address complex ideas in an intelligent manner, and in so doing is just as well suited to nonfiction as the written word.
Matiss Duhon, ’01 Austin, TX
Sponsor: Christina McOmber