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Photo Comics...err, Graphic Novels

Twenty or so years ago, about the time Grant Morrison's Arkham Asylum was first published, I envisioned creating a highbred photography/comic book of a presidential campaign. The text would consist entirely of quotes from the politicians and others inside "the bubble", held together with the expected graphic elements one finds in comic books, and of course my photography.

Well, that never happened. I've never been quite organized enough to put together a long term project like this.

Still, Its a great idea that somebody should do at some point.

I bring this up, because it appears Brenda Ann Kenneally is doing something similar.

There's a wonderful piece about her and her work in the Lens today, which states, one of the many ways she's publishing this work is going to be in a graphic novel form. Which is very smart. The more ways to get the stuff out there, the better.

Here's some of the work we're talking about, although I must say, for me it is presented much better in the Lens, and the audio is... well just turn the sound off.

Upstate Girls - What Became of Collar City from The Raw File on Vimeo.

While on the subject of graphic novel, photojournalistic mash-ups, one really has to mention The Photographer by, Didier Lefevre (the photographer), and artist/comic book creator Emmanuel Guibert (Frederic Lemercier designed the book).

The graphic novel tells the first person account of Lefevre's journey (who passed away in 2007 without seeing it published) into 1980's Afghanistan with MSF. Really, it's one of the most amazing books I've seen this year. So telling and so informative. It somehow demystifies the process of creating lasting photographs, while at the same time revealing how magical the end results can be.

Didier, quoted from The Photographer

"But of course being able to produce a technically good picture doesn't mean you'll make great pictures. For great pictures you really have to tear your eyes out. I want to pour all my energy into improving my photography. I want to take good pictures."

His friend asks, "And what is a good picture?"

He responds,

"I don't know. You have to search for it, search all the time, all the time. And not necessarily in war zones or spectacular places."

If at some point if you'd like to be a good photographer, you should really get your hands on this book.

Here's a review in the New York Times.


Towards Thoughtful Enterprise

Christopher Kimball, a publisher of some note, writes in the New York Times,

"To survive, those of us who believe that inexperience rarely leads to wisdom need to swim against the tide, better define our brands, prove our worth, ask to be paid for what we do, and refuse to climb aboard this ship of fools, the one where everyone has an equal voice. Google “broccoli casserole” and make the first recipe you find. I guarantee it will be disappointing. The world needs fewer opinions and more thoughtful expertise — the kind that comes from real experience, the hard-won blood-on-the-floor kind. I like my reporters, my pilots, my pundits, my doctors, my teachers and my cooking instructors to have graduated from the school of hard knocks."

Words to live by - these.