Finally got up to Milwaukee this weekend to see the "Masters Of American Comics" exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum before it ended on August 13th. Before I get into that, one word about the architecture of the Museum: Its absolutely beautiful!
I think Carl wrote about the Museum several months ago. I love architecture and the Calatrava design is stunning. It makes me hope the proposed Fordham Spiral tower gets built. The people of Milwaukee should be totally grateful. Now, if they can only develop the rest of the lakefront . . . .
The "Masters Of American Comics" exhibition showed the works of 15 comic artists from the beginning of the 20th Century through the present. Artists such as Crumb, Spiegelman, and Schultz were exhibited.
Our parents and grandparents grew up on these comics: Dick Tracy, Popeye, Gasoline Alley. Yet most people I know don't read or care about the comics anymore. Part of this, is that the comics got out of the storytelling business. They also lost their imagination. That's what was interesting about this exhibition. These comics told stories, they were satiristic, while at the same time, entertained.
Now, today, they are just part of the newspaper to throw away to get to the other sections. But is that my fault or the fault of the newspapers?
There is a scene, I wouldn't call it underground, but there is a scene of graphic comic artists who put out graphic novels. Why couldn't the Tribune hire a graphic comic aritst or two to put out serial stories that would be published every two weeks? That would be a story in itself. I mean, let's look at newspapers nowadays. There readership is dwindling each day. People want to read the RedEye instead of the Tribune because of short attention spans. More importantly, the stories should be adult in nature. I'm not talking about nudity, I'm talking about adult themes, the issues we face today. It could be about fantasy. It could be horror. I could go on and on but you all get the point.
Maybe one day, the newspapers will too.