every woman adores a fascist -- sylvia plath

Saturday, January 20, 2007


I'm creating a new term: "Neo-Sequentials", and espousing a new method of the same name. No, it has nothing to do with Matrix comics, but rather has to do with the use of sequential art to create a sense of timelessness in order to better express timeless ideas in the text of the comic book.

Sequential art, as Eisner explains in "Comics and Sequential Arts," inherently expresses time through the size of panels and their sequence. Writers and artists like Moore, Miller, Gaiman, Ellis, and Bendis (among many others), have not only mastered the medium's ability to express time, they have also mastered the use of sequential art to express temporal ideas in their texts. For example, "From Hell" is a conspiracy theory (that only works) in a timeline... Bendis' proclivity to nihilism and materialism (as well as Ellis') are equally "best expressed" through the temporal medium of sequential art. Even Gaiman's "Sandman" is the expression of imagination (which is spatial-temporal) through the medium.

Now, I'm sure anyone reading this may ask: Aaron... are you drunk? (yes) Don't you know that we live in a universe FILLED with spacetime? What else are we to read and believe in? What else is Sequential Art to express?

Well, one thing (of a number of things) that Eisner either misses or does not explain, is that sequential art also has the power to express timelesness. There are, after all, ideas which transcend history--ideas which are essentially human (or divine), that need not reference a timeline to make sense. And that's what I want to focus on with Sequential Art.

That is what I work on--and I think that's _really_ what drives so many of us to create in this medium. My goal (and I'll express it publicly, since that's the best way to actually accomplish your goals) is to substantially advance the medium and artform by using it to express timelessness in order to help express timeless ideas. My short story "The In-Between Space", for example, which appeared in the Dark Horrors anthology, was my first use of it. The idea behind the text was that motion and change are metaphors for God, and I used a recursive sequential pattern to express it.

Too much for comic readers? Perhaps. Ambitous? Yes. Successful? I haven't won an Eisner for it. Will I give up? No.

This is the next step in the artform, I believe. The writers whom I admire so much today (the ones I listed above), have advanced comics both thematically and methodologically by creating stories that express temporal ideas with temporal sequential art. My next step is to create dialectical oppostion: to express timeless ideas with neo-sequentials.

That's what I'm doing. I hope you enjoy the ride.