I recently found Sequart.com site that professes to be “for the sophisticated study of comic books and graphic novels.” The term “sequart” is meant as:
Sequart (n.) — seh-kwart — the artistic medium of sequential static imagery, whatever its composition, typically combined with text. The term is employed to distinguish the medium itself from particular genres and formats, such as comic books or graphic novels. “Sequart’s diversity may be seen from Peanuts to Spider-Man, from product manuals to the Stations of the Cross.”
So, basically they mean something close to VL (I mention my problems with the term in this article). Yet, despite their stated goal of reaching beyond genre, they almost solely focus on the mainstream and superhero comics. For instance, their book review of Superheroes and Philosophy really has nothing to do with “sequart,” and everything to do with genre.
I couldn’t even find much of anything on any of the major graphic novel publishers (Top Shelf, Fantagraphics, etc), while ample space is given to things like superhero continuity, etc. Concerns for webcomics are also conspicuously absent.
It is encouraging to find more intelligently written works of writing on such things on the web, even if they don’t live up to their own stated pan-genre intentions.
Thanks for the note. I visit the site daily and, while you’re right on webcomics, Sequart.com has a decent but not thrilling amount on indies, including a couple columns (“High-Low” comes immediately to mind) and a bunch of their Continuity Pages (Cerebus, From Hell, Grendel, Concrete, etc.). Yeah, not enough indy, but it’s there.
I dunno, I hardly think of any of the titles you mention comprising “indy” turf. From Hell, Grendel, and Concrete are all by fairly mainstream authors, and Cerebus is well placed into the “comics” community (though the most indy of those listed).
This was mainly my gripe – its all “mainstream comic industry” fare, to the point where stronghold companies are highlighted as a good representation of what “sequart” is. Which is fine really if thats your bag. I guess I’m just looking for truth in advertising.
I’m Mike Phillips, Editor-in-Chief of Sequart.com. I can appreciate your concern for us not delivering what we claim we to deliver!
We’re a fairly small organization, but we plan on expanding to more indy and webcomics fare. The only problem is that experts in those fields aren’t necessarily banging down our door… yet.
If you know anyone who can and would be interested in writing for us about those topics, I would be 1000% open to publish them. Please pass the word!