"The bad essay chats about people instead of opening up the matter at hand."



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  • “The bad essay chats about people instead of opening up the matter at hand.”
  • “The Essay as Form,” T. W. Adorno [1954-58]; Bob Hullot-Kentor; Frederic Will. New German Critique, No. 32. (Spring - Summer, 1984), 154.

“His Inner Cat,” Sarah Boxer “Introduction,” Greil Marcus /“The Clear Line,” Luc Sante “A Triumph of the Comic Book Novel,” Gabriel Winslow-Yost “Wonder Woman: The Weird True Story,” Sarah Kerr

  • :
  • What does each essay “open up” (per Adorno) and to what purpose?
  • What issues are raised that relate to design?
  • What design tactics are used to explore those issues?

Humor as a tactic of design

  • The importance of the comic is its instability--its tendency to oscillate between the uncanny and the ridiculous. We take pleasure in the comic largely as triumph over anxiety, the achievement of dominance over psychological forces, which threaten our precarious control.
  • Paraphrased from Ernst Gombrich, The Sense of Order: A Study in the Psychology of Decorative Art, p. 19.
  •  

“His Inner Kat,” Sarah Boxer Krazy Kat (published between 1913 and 1944)

  • George Herriman
  • (1880 –1944)
  • What does Sarah Boxer’s review ‘open up’?

Design issues?

Krazy & Ignatz Chris Ware’s design: the opposite of “flux”

  • “Wonder Woman: The Weird True Story”
  • By Sarah Kerr
  • Review of Jill Lepore’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman
  • &
  • Tim Hanley’s Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine

Wonder Woman William Moulton Marston a.k.a. Charles Moulton with Sadie Elizabeth Holloway Marston and Olive Byrne illustrated by H.G. Peter (and others)

Design Issues?

Henry Darger from the Vivian Girls series

Still from Cartoon Network's animated series Justice League, 2001-04

Wonder Woman, 2017

“Introduction,” Greil Marcus “The Clear Line,” Luc Sante Tin Tin (published between 1929-1986)

  • Georges Remi (1907–1983)
  • a.k.a. Hergé

What does Luc Sante’s essay ‘open up’?

  • 880 – April 25, 1944
  • Design Issues?

Sgrandmaison, Tintin pleure #jesuisbelge

“A Triumph of the Comic-Book Novel,” Gabriel Winslow-Yost

  • Chris Ware
  • (1967 - )
  • What does Gabriel Winslow-Yost’s review ‘open up’?

Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth, 2003

Chris Ware, Building Stories, 2012

Design Issues?

Studio of Henry Darger (c. April 12, 1892 – April 13, 1973)

  • “18 At Norma Catherine.
  • But wild thunderstorm with cyclone like wind saves them” Darger, mid-20th c

Design Issues?



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