Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quote of the Day

"I'm again reminded how low the standards are for storytelling in nonliterary media such as comics and popular songs. Ware's story is fine, but as a story, it's the sort of thing that John O'Hara was spinning off by the dozens and publishing in the New Yorker a half century ago. It's got all the subtlety of a refrigerator on the side of the head. That's fine--comics, like movies, are a visual medium and have other things going for them. Still, it's striking to me how different the expectations are for stories in different media." (Andrew Gelman, Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science)


  1. This seems more like a prejudice than a real observation. Of course, he's even using a bad example--Ware is an extremely sophisticated storyteller BUT he does lay plenty on the surface for people to "get." Now, if Gelman had gone after any of a half a dozen recent GN bestsellers, I might be inclined to agree.

  2. I found it interesting partly because he's clearly not a guy with a vested interest--or even a professional interest--one way or another. He's your basic "sophisticated reader"--well-educated, tasteful, etc. And open minded enough to read and think about comics, and not to be dismissive. But it's hard for him to fully get it. That's ok though--he's halfway there. And I think he acknowledges that this particular story involved a kind of compromise with potential readership (which included him).