Graphic Novels and Comic Books: Kent Williams

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Historical and Critical Studies Even in today's supposedly open-minded modern society, there is a palpable art school-esque snobbery creating a conscious divide between 'high art' and graphical illustration. Regardless of the many artists that strive to redefine boundaries that are merely a price tag away from common ancestry. Unacceptable is the disregard by those who are 'in the know' when they hold aloft two metric tonnes of polished grotesque above the increasingly popular and diverse graphic novel culture. Should we not afford all sides' equal footing, and leave the interpretations and aesthetic complexities to be in the eyes of the beholder? Of course, I refer, rather over colourfully; to the fence, that has fine art on one side, and commercial art on the other. To exist in both worlds is a dream for some, (myself included) a possibility for others, and for a talented few, reality. The focus is set on Kent Williams, a modern contemporary figurative painter, who cut his teeth in the field of graphic novels, and who now focuses on his personal painting projects, exhibitions, and books. The 1980's saw a radical development in the world of comic books. From that period in mid 80's up to the present day, we refer to as the modern age of comic books. However, it has an alternate name, and one perhaps more apt, the dark age of comic books - due to groundbreaking titles such works as Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, written and pencilled Frank Miller, and Watchmen (1886), written by Alan Moore drawn by Dave Gibbons. Both books exhibited complex and layered narrative, held together by very structured nine and twelve panelling in the artwork, which sought to compliment the dense content and mature themes. "That'd be ... ... middle of paper ... ...n art - pop art how is this acceptable? Is it more about "the Thing" that artistic integrity? No, it is all about the freedom to express an idea, or provide a service, even if it is under a false pretence of "art" JEFF! Pop art, any Warhol, BLAH! "Illustrators challenging the status quo have always operated in the overlapping area between fine art, commerce, and design, and make all areas of creative production their own" Conclusion Unmade bed? QUOTE: Personal level, the fact that artists feel the need to differentiate between the types of work they produce. Why can we just do it for the hell of it? "Artists have always operated with restrictions and many of the outstanding works through history of art were commissioned by clients or patrons for specific purposes" check correct quote! "Do whatever you do, intensely" 1923

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