Discussion I - WYBIDIBD: When You Break It Down It Breaks Down
Moderator: Oliver Lerone Schultz
With Gabriel S Moses
Comics have been referred to by many as an outdated medium whose golden age lay somewhere in the early 20th century and whose cultural importance mainly amounted to an efficient, cheap, "underdog" production line of storytelling (of mostly superheroes and cartoons). Today’s diminishing print economy only adds to this bleak depiction of comics as irrelevant. Against these demeaning claims, this talk asserts that the opposite altogether might be true and that comics actually lie at the heart of the logical templates taking over our media cultures, dominating the grammar and semantic interface of Web 2.0’s current user-platforms (Facebook, YouTube...) as well as their touchscreen adaptations. To accept this means simply to admit that in the end, we are all in the business of telling ourselves stories, all made of sequenced images and texts that can also go “BANG! SPLASH! BOOM!” (or at least vibrate). It is through these virtual comics that we engage in info-wars, debunk old conspiracies in favor of new ones and empower virtual superheroes with superpowers we hope can bring down regimes. Or are we just telling ourselves a bunch of damn good tales to avoid facing up to it all? Or are we just a group of angry teenagers looking busy doing nothing, instead of homework?
Gabriel S. Moses is not sure of any of it, not even sure how to like comics. But he makes something he is certain is like comics—and he claims he can use it as a weapon of mass destruction...or at least deconstruction.