Wednesday 19 January 2011

Go Forth! Become a master of Fanthropology

Although there are a few works on the science of reading comics - most notably Scott McCloud's excellent book Understanding Comics but also examples can be found online - Sean Kleefeld is looking to go one step further and answer the question: who reads comics and why? Given that reading comics is about what happens next to Spider-Man as much as exploring the Nazi Holocaust my first thought was: different people read different books. Some people respond to storytelling through imagery and some people are just hooked on soap opera heroics.

And yet the more you think about it the more complex it becomes. Why do adults still want to read about superheroes? Maybe it's just a question we don't like to ask of ourselves but Kleefild has rolled up his sleeves and written a book about the subject entitled Fanthropology. And because this is the age of free stuff on the internet, he's serialising the whole thing on his website. It's definatly worth a read for tackling issues such as why we all have different ideals for each character (it's to do with the space between panels).

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