Friday, 2 January 2015

Totally distracted

Finally, when do we have an authentic instance of a comic?
I argue that comics (even digital comics) are best understood as autographic—they admit of referential forgery and direct transcription will not suffice to produce an authentic instance of a comic.

I have to admit, I am not sure how Meskin's conclusions fit into general ontology of comics... he says that he is only having a quick peek at the subject (and is pretty adamant that the ontology of comics is not going to help much with broader questions of ontology). 

I have this idea that ontology, the examination of different ways of being, is tangled up with consciousness: the recognition of being itself relies on some high level awareness, and I can't see dogs sitting about barking about how they are in different states when they are licking their balls or farting in the kitchen. 

But I am wrong. Consciousness is a prerequisite of having a chat about the nature of being, not a necessity for actually being. I remember being well into the Zen once, and I'd say things like 'think like a mountain.' Well, that was stupid too, and I ended up with people climbing all over me while I gradually eroded. The point of the exercise was probably to admit that there are other states of being than the human. Or, like Dr Manhattan said in Watchmen, I am 'life insisting on life's viewpoint when alternatives exist.'

I don't think Mekin would claim that his ontology is an attempt to find out what it feels like to be a comic (he's an academic, not a blogger who can't get into his office to do proper work). But he is looking at comics (as objects) and explaining the nature of their existence. It's blowing my head right off. 

I guess a strict biologist would see this as being a big load of post-modern bullshit. There's no evolutionary purpose to this (unless there are people out there who would like to have sex or eat dinner with me (I am open to offers (although the former won't lead to reproduction (but what if we apply evolutionary psychology to comics (do they try to reproduce by being good? (and they have totally evolved from the simple morality tales of the golden age to the metaphysical complexities of Grant Morrison (who always seems to have his characters realising that they are in a comic book (because he ran out of ideas after The Filth (that might be a little unfair)))))))).

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