its the sort of thing where theres an instance to use certain representations. Sometimes what makes someone love a story is looking at a character that seems like someone you COULD know, like with such nuance that it feels it has to be a real person, though it may not be the case. other times its like thinking about the roman statues, that have to have character enough to empathize with but are in a sense an archtypical slate to leave “room for the viewer”. Like allowing a different type of participation, which is what I think youre getting at here, Gabriella. A lot of older manga eschews the creating of a “new” character for every work, instead you’ll see the “same guy” in Tatsumi’s or Tsuge’s (most gekigas) work though they arent actually, without being a cop-out. This is pushed completely with “figureless” works or implied narratives, which really have a sort of trust between viewer and maker- there’s more responsibility given to the reader, or maybe more respect? giving room to fill in all the blanks and be happy however they will be.Just how I see things.
Some interesting points Gabriella!
This is something I have been thinking about on and off for a few years regarding my own work. I consider my own work an expression of myself and my ideas, but the method my audience seems most likely to interact with my art is by identifying with it. I hear “I relate to this”, “It me”, or “gpoy” a fair bit. When you’re trying to express or represent a specific feeling, sometimes the worst thing you can hear is “omfg this is totally me” because, no, it’s not.
Also thought your interpretation of abstract comics was nice. Usually when I’m looking at abstract comics I’m appreciating their formal drawing values, or use of the comics grid. Those big emotional/semi-spiritual reactions to abstract art in regards to abstract comics was something I may have forgotten about. *starts singing b.joel’s for the longest time*
For me, I think it’s definitely OK when people are like “I can relate to this in some sort of way” because a lot of people can! (like a comic about being broke or something) But I can see when it’s a more nuanced, personal story about YOUR thoughts and feelings but then suddenly someone goes OMG ITS ME. Makes you wanna go “No it’s not it was about me, not you!”
Abstract art is really complex! You can either see a lot of emotion in it or as you said appreciate the formal drawing values. And either way is totally fine, its all subjective 🙂
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