How Do You Give a Comics Reading?
As graphic novels and comic books become more entrenched in the high-minded literature scene, comics creators likely will begin entering into the world of the author.
That could mean holding book signings at Barnes & Noble as well as Comic Con. It could mean facing the scrutiny of self-important book critics as well as snarky Internet fanboys. In the case of Exit Wounds creator Rutu Modan, it meant holding a reading.
For literature, readings are easy enough. You step in front of an audience, crack open your book and read. But because comics are so image intensive, a reading becomes much more difficult.
I’ll never forget hearing John Ridley on NPR discussing his comic series The American Way, and how awkward it was when he tried to not only read the dialogue and captions but also describe everything. Luckily, I’d already read the book and could follow along.
Speaking at Jewish Book Week, Modan tried another tack by showing a projection of the pages as she read. However, even that wasn’t ideal. Here’s how the Guardian writer described it:
Modan’s presence raised the interesting technical question of how to conduct a reading of a graphic novel. The answer was via a PowerPoint presentation and a lot of advice from a tech-savvy audience shouting: "Now go to ‘Slide Show’, now click ‘View Show’."