Clichés of the "autobiographical" comic

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Clichés of the "autobiographical" comic

Postby ShannC on Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:28 am

I've read quite a few comics that have a real world setting, and that are either autobiographical or make an effort to seem that way. Don't get me wrong now because I love the genre a whole lot, but the funny thing is that there's alot of common elements. So I thought we could start listing them and give Suburban and all other artists a nervous stomach cramp and prove that we are on to them! :D

One (or more characters):

- are really interested in alternative music and/or literature.
- regard the world with fashionable ennui over cigarettes and coffee.
- attend some sort of art school.
- have self esteem issues, which make romantic relationships difficult.
- are always ready to point out the foolishness of normal "care free" people.
- have got objects of affection who don't know it themselves
- can be seen with a sketchbook, paintbrush or any other creative paraphernalia.
- feel detached from society
- spend alot of time worrying about how life will turn out
- don't enjoy the party
- have complicated personal relationships(and this may well be what 50% of the entire comic revolves around)
- are worried and reluctant when life changes(even if it is just a graduation)
- is very introvert and aloof(the main character) and mostly re-tells events where he/she wasn't directly involved.
- are still bitter about being wronged in childhood

Ok. I'm out of steam and can't think of any more atm. Add your own plz!
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Re: Clichés of the "autobiographical" comic

Postby Redcrow on Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:16 pm

Har!

Guilty on most counts. But I must add my own caveats to some on the items:

have complicated personal relationships(and this may well be what 50% of the entire comic revolves around)

This is true of all good literature. Otherwise all you've got is pop-fiction or a fantasy comic book.

spend alot of time worrying about how life will turn out

That's true of virtually everyone except the Enlightened or the free-ist of the Free Spirit types.

- are always ready to point out the foolishness of normal "care free" people.


That's because they know at some level that the normal "care free" people are dishonest with themselves. These "care free" people are the same ones who try to run you off the freeway if you are going only 5 mph above the speed limit and yell at baristas if the latte' they ordered isn't perfect.

It is jealousy, but the only enviable thing is the money they have


have got objects of affection who don't know it themselves

This is a perinneal (sp?) theme of literature, both good and bad.

regard the world with fashionable ennui over cigarettes and coffee.

Har! Har! - Poseurs!

attend some sort of art school.

Not me! I was a shitty artist in high school although half my classes in the 11th & 12th grade were art classes. Now I'm a shitty comix artist who learned out of a Manga instruction book I bought at Borders.

None of my characters will be in school. They will either hold jobs or be useless and/or malignant wankers. But then, most of my comix are going to be one-shot stories. Unless the gods grant me a burning passion to create and update a saga on a regular basis.

Shann, you covered about everything, so I could do was comment.
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Re: Clichés of the "autobiographical" comic

Postby ShannC on Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:01 pm

Redcrow wrote:Har!

Guilty on most counts. But I must add my own caveats to some on the items:

have complicated personal relationships(and this may well be what 50% of the entire comic revolves around)

This is true of all good literature. Otherwise all you've got is pop-fiction or a fantasy comic book.


Yeah, you are right. It was a bit poorly phrased as it may be relationship to parents, friends, co-workers, well basically anything. There's bound to be some sort of issues revolving others or there's nothing to build upon.

Redcrow wrote:- are always ready to point out the foolishness of normal "care free" people.


That's because they know at some level that the normal "care free" people are dishonest with themselves. These "care free" people are the same ones who try to run you off the freeway if you are going only 5 mph above the speed limit and yell at baristas if the latte' they ordered isn't perfect.

It is jealousy, but the only enviable thing is the money they have


Hehe, yep that's about how it goes! :D

Redcrow wrote:have got objects of affection who don't know it themselves

This is a perinneal (sp?) theme of literature, both good and bad.


You can do pretty interesting things with it I suppose.
I like it those times when you know how several characters think so that you have more information than the main characters. Then you watch it play out.

Redcrow wrote:attend some sort of art school.

Not me! I was a shitty artist in high school although half my classes in the 11th & 12th grade were art classes. Now I'm a shitty comix artist who learned out of a Manga instruction book I bought at Borders.

None of my characters will be in school. They will either hold jobs or be useless and/or malignant wankers. But then, most of my comix are going to be one-shot stories. Unless the gods grant me a burning passion to create and update a saga on a regular basis.


You got to admit though, it's pretty common. I don't think it's negative really. Just that people write about what they know. Oh, and I wish burning passion upon you!

Hey, I thought of a new one:
- character is oblivious about being somewhat intolerant
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Re: Clichés of the "autobiographical" comic

Postby Paul Escobar on Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:24 am

Hehe, that's a lot of clichés. I think I've seen them all, although I haven't really read that many autobiographical comics.

Incidentally, there are autobiocomics that hardly have any of those clichés at all, e.g. Carlos Giménez' "Paracuellos".
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Re: Clichés of the "autobiographical" comic

Postby ShannC on Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:30 am

I've heard alot of good about that one! I should've bought it when I was in France instead of stockpiling old Édika and Gotlib... Oh well, next time.

Heck, there's alot of personal stories covering times of conflict and such that of course are autobio, even if I didn't really think about it when I wrote the topic. I mostly thought about the most well known such as Ghost World, Buddy etc, our favorite webcomics *hint, hint*, and a bundle of swedish stuff.

For some reason, people here love comics about ordinary people in (for us) ordinary settings. Probably some Bergman meme or such, I dunno, but the only superhero comic from Sweden I know about(not including some weird-ass experiments from the 70's) is called 'Captain Geezer' and that's of course, entirely ironic.
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Re: Clichés of the "autobiographical" comic

Postby Paul Escobar on Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:55 pm

Hey, there's nothing wrong with stocking up on Gotlib and Édika comics! Gotlib's made some of the funniest comics evar.

"Paracuellos" is awesome, if sometimes hard to stomach. It tells of the lives of children in state-run orphanages in fascist Spain in the early 1950s, and some of the episodes literally make you want to cry. Also check out Giménez' other auto-bio works "Barrio" and "Los Profesionales" which are also excellent. "Los Profesionales" is (perhaps thankfully) in a lighter tone than "Paracuellos" and "Barrio".

Come to think of it, "Barrio" was the first comic I ever read where I experienced that a comic could be more than "mere" entertainment; that this normally frivolous medium could be used to tell stories with genuine emotional impact. That was quite an eye-opener.

Oh yeah, the Buddy comics are great. Even if they have a lot of the autobio clichés!

And yeah, autobio-social realism comics seem to have become something of a Swedish specialty in later years. I quite like some of the works by Daniel Ahlgren and Rasmus Gran.

Speaking of Swedish comics, are you familiar with Anders Loves Maria? Sort of social realism meets soap opera. Very Swedish. And very good.
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Re: Clichés of the "autobiographical" comic

Postby ShannC on Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:32 am

Thanks for the tip. I think I'll go ahead and hit the archives.

Another funny thing about the swedish comic scene is that many of those who went on and made acclaimed titles started off 10-15 years earlier with really low entertainment in a magazine called Pyton(which in swedish might mean either the snake or 'gross'), and gross it was. Jokes mostly revolved around the human body and its functions. At least it's true about Kellerman, Ahlgren, Lindengren, Frode(norweigan I know), and someone else I can't remember.

My first contact with serious comics was when I was 7. My dad went to an antique store and bought loads of unsorted second hand comics which he gave on occasion. Some of them were scary, dirty or really confusing, and definately not for kids anyway.
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Re: Clichés of the "autobiographical" comic

Postby Paul Escobar on Sat Jul 05, 2008 4:23 pm

Ooh, I remember Pyton! It was Norwegian, but came out in Swedish, Finnish and Danish versions, too. And the editors were very active in finding local artists in each country to contribute. Cool idea really. Didn't happen in Denmark, though, as the Danish version folded after just 3 issues. I suppose Pyton's trademark gross humour didn't appeal much to Danes. Our sense of lowbrow humour focuses more on stupid than on gross. AFAIK the Finnish version, Myrkky, is still going strong. Make of that what you will.
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Re: Clichés of the "autobiographical" comic

Postby ShannC on Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:43 am

Haha. Maybe I need to learn finnish then.

I finished Anders loves Maria, and I got to say It's pretty outragous. Though it was actually really funny and I do like the artwork alot and it does feel distinctly swedish(well duh, but there's something about the style and choice of colors).

So you guys know any other good "realism" comics?
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Re: Clichés of the "autobiographical" comic

Postby Paul Escobar on Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:43 pm

Ugly Girl is really good. Octopus Pie, too, but it's more comedy than realism. Huh, there aren't that many "realistic" webcomics that I know of. But some wicked ones in print: The aforementioned ones by Carlos Giménez; Marjane Satrapi's "Persepolis", David B's "Epileptic", Lewis Trondheim's "Approximativement"; Manu Larcenet's "Le Combat Ordinaire"; many of Robert Crumb's later works. And probably more I can't remember right now or haven't read.
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Re: Clichés of the "autobiographical" comic

Postby PortableNuke on Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:55 pm

Overcompensating from Jeffry Rowland is a autobiographical comic, kind of anyway. It's based on Jeffry's life in the psychedelic sense of based on.
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Re: Clichés of the "autobiographical" comic

Postby ShannC on Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:04 am

Hey guys. Treat yourself to this baby http://www.act-i-vate.com/51-1-1.comic. Positively amazing reality comic, or whatever we should call 'em.

Beautiful drawings, fantastic plot. During the 70 pages of it, I wasn't bored once. Some NSFW moments, but nothing anyone but real lame asses can't handle.

.... and what do you know dear readers, it features artsy kids. ( > < )
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Re: Clichés of the "autobiographical" comic

Postby Paul Escobar on Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:56 am

Yeah, Bee's really good. I read it at the author's own site. I also have the first Bee book (the current story being the second one). Highly recommended.

I wouldn't file it under autobiography or something like that, though. The stories are sort of crime mysteries with some unusual twists. The author calls Bee "bubblegum noir" which is a pretty good description.
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Re: Clichés of the "autobiographical" comic

Postby ShannC on Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:34 am

Yeah. Accurate enough.

Through what I've read, what started as very bright and funny has turned into really heavy forboding. THAT'S skill! Our heroes are spiralling down blissfully unaware, well after all of our alarms have gone off. I fear it won't end well.
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Re: Clichés of the "autobiographical" comic

Postby Pravus on Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:43 pm

Have you read Persepolis? That was actually really good...I was surprised, but I liked it a lot.
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Re: Clichés of the "autobiographical" comic

Postby Yeahduff on Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:15 am

Why on god's green earth would you be surprised that Persepolis was good?
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