Saturday, 26 March 2016

Cartooning Legend Bernard Krigstein’s Career Foreshadowed a Lethargic Comics Industry

Cartooning Legend Bernard Krigstein’s Career Foreshadowed a Lethargic Comics IndustryThe common influence between such benchmark comics as Sin City, Maus and Ghost World, Bernard Krigstein is your favorite artist’s favorite artist. Though his name is little-known to the average reader, he pushed the boundaries of what comics could be in their Golden Age, and his fine-art intentions have drawn comparisons to the literary ambitions of V For Vendetta andWatchmen writer Alan Moore. He also would have been 97 this week. In the face of censorship legislation, Krigstein was forced out of the industry at the height of his power, relegated to teaching high school art classes for the last decades of his life. While his abrasive attitude was no doubt a contributing factor in this development, his short-lived career still speaks to a recurrent problem in the comics industry, one as topical today as it’s ever been.
Even at the dawn of sequential art, Krigstein faced a harsh reality that’s remained consistent to today: the comics industry abhors change. This conservatism has taken various forms throughout the decades—the ‘50s endured the restrictive, short-sighted psychology of Fredric Wertham. The fight continues today as the medium faces hurdles to diversify its creators beyond a white, heteronormative male foundation. Like other media, the comics industry has rarely accepted those voices who sought to innovate within its panels—Krigstein is a testament to that unfortunate legacy.=read more =

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