Monday, October 19, 2009

Swiping Styles

Jim Rugg pointed out this interesting piece on the Next Issue blog, in which R. Sikoryak's Masterpiece Comics, Matt Madden's Exercises in Style, and Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca's Afrodisiac.

It struck me that there is significant overlap between what I enjoy about all three listed works, and what I enjoy about mashups and crossbred fiction. A kind of friction between disparate elements, and interesting sparks sent flying by unlikely elements sent colliding into one another.

Some interesting thoughts in Mutch's piece, worth checking out. (And if you haven't read any of referenced works, what the heck are you waiting for?!)


  1. Is it possible to swipe a style, in the sense that is there anything there that could possibly be measured and proprietary? I'm not sure where I fall on my own question, but I suspect the answer is "no."

  2. I don't think he meant "swipe" in the sense that it's been used traditionally in comics (e.g. "Bob Kane swiped every drawing he ever made from other artists"), nor do I think he intended one arist wholesale adopting the style of another (cf. the Giffen and Muñoz kerfuffle), but something more akin to what a musician does when they write a song in the style of another, or a writer does when they write a pastiche of another's writing style. Pastiche is probably better word for it, come to think of it.

  3. Of course in the Giffen and Muñoz kerfuffle, it wasn't just an appropriation of the man's drawing style. Actual panels were copied, which is where he clearly crossed over the line. Doing something in the style (even in the nearly exact style) of another artist is fair play, in my book, although one would hope proper credit might be given, as in the standard: After the style of _______. Copying an actual piece is a whole 'nother thing.