Man-Size (man_size) wrote,
man_size Book Expo 2018: The Image Comics Genres Within Genres Panel

(L-R: Tee Franklin, Brigid Alverson, Charles Soule, Kit Seaton & Dean Haspiel. Photo c.2018 Hannah Means-Shannon)

Hannah Means-Shannon reported The Image Comics: Genres Within Genres Panel at Book Expo America 2018 for


"Each of the panelists used genre terms when introducing their works, Alverson noted, and asked them to comment more on that usage.

Haspiel was known as a superhero creator, but he commented on the inclusion of action, sci-fi, and even romance, in such works. He commented on Guardians of the Galaxy being about a group of misfits who become friends, and later family. But there’s romance and other elements, too."

"Haspiel said that when he was drawing, The Quitter, a story with Harvey Pekar, some fans complained that the artwork looked to “superhero-y”, even though there was no aspect of that in the story. They were expecting more of an R. Crumb approach. Haspiel said it may be down to the “limitations of our brains” in coming in with certain expectations for certain types of art style."

"Haspiel has worked a lot in black and white and a lot in limited palette, he added, agreeing about the impact of color. He feels that black and white and limited palettes are harder to sell to readers these days since they seem to feel they are getting “less of a book”, but look at the work of Frank Miller or The Walking Dead, and the ways in which they work without color.

Source material influences reader expectation based on what they might have first encountered in comics, Haspiel feels, which encapsulates the tropes that then have to be broken."

"Circling back to the definition of genre, Haspiel explained that he’s recently been writing plays, and that he loves “story” and “mixing up stuff”. He loves “bad B movies” and cheesy movies because “there’s something in there was well”. He picks and chooses and “mashes up” the things he loves in his work, so he finds genre hard to define. If he was asked to do a “straightforward genre”, he probably couldn’t do it. Asked once to pitch “Hulk noir” to Marvel, with him as a military character, he couldn’t do it. But asked to do a “strange tales” story, he was fine. He found the weirdest character he could, one called “Wood God” and added many other Marvel characters to the story.

Alverson wondered if “genre is what other people write”, meaning we apply it to others rather than our own products. Haspiel mentioned the film The Arrival, a science-fiction movie that broke genre rules and his heart. There are expectations, but he loves it when something “turns” on the audience in that respect."

"Haspiel has been reading a lot of biographies and auto-bios of comedians and actors, who are “fascinating people” with “really cool anecdotes”. Maybe that helps with “character building”. Some television is as quality as literature, he commented, including a show called “Banshee” he’s been watching.

Asked if there was a genre they hate or wouldn’t write, Haspiel said he can’t wrap his head around “fantasy” like sandals, swords, and dragons. He loves Game of Thrones though. He played D&D as a kid, but he has an “allergic reaction” to the idea of doing it. Despite those elements in his own work already."

Read the entire report here:

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