Matt Bors
Comics, Politics & Ridicule

Bors Blog

Truthiness in comics

There's a great essay on The Awl on truth in auto-bio comics, which is a huge can of worms and I applaud Kim O'Connor for opening it. A lot of non-fiction work in comics contain Sedaris-level bullshitting without many people really thinking it's a problem. In fact, I think standards for fact-checking a lot of comic memoirs is below that of prose memoirs. (Often it seems to not exist at all.) You have creators like Craig Thompson admitting to inventing scenes wholesale that they never witnessed and then you have someone like Alison Bechdel, who is a relentless diarist and documentarian of her own life, clearly being rigorous. As someone whose humor is fact-checked, I'm used to feeling a certain level of obligation to the reader. Even though I'm having an anthropomorphic uterus fight congressmen, I still have to characterize the news item correctly–and I use quotes to signal when something was said in the real world. You have more play with memoir, but it shouldn't be setting off BS alarms while reading. And yet much of it does.
08.15.2012 |


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