Tragic Book Manifesto, the Rebirth of Tragedy

An essay on comics from 2018

Tragic Book Manifesto, the Rebirth of Tragedy

Comics are a failed medium, born out of judeo-christian morals and economic weakness, they are the fantasies of an underclass. They have not sought to become higher, greater art. Rather comics have become a mire of self referential garbage, nearly completely meaningless to anyone who is not versed in comics.

They exist for a small but devoted fan base of pathetic addicts, consumerists of the highest degree.

I propose a greater form of sequential art. We will declare a new lineage. No longer will the fiction be rooted in “Good” and “Evil”, “truth, justice and the American way” but rather, we will create an art form that goes beyond good and evil. The visual origins will be placed farther back as well, rather than the hyper stylized influence of art nouveau, the tragics will be open to innumerable styles, so long as they are subversive to the comic, and fit the story. 

The hyper-meta structure of comic books has led nowhere. It’s recursive masturbation for those pedantic enough to obsess over such inane work. I wonder, why is it when comic artists sought to escape from DC and Marvel, they just kept on making the same junk? Why is it nearly impossible to find a powerful comic? All of the indie comics are stuck in recursive tropes as well. 

For a medium that’s significantly less than 200 years old, there is almost none of the experimentation necessary to lead to greater and greater art. Therefore, we are developing the Tragic. The loyal opposition to a sleeping giant. The destiny of comics is immense, but consumerism and recursive tropes have left it paralysed. Tragics will move much farther, and aim at distant futures. Bringing to the fore what has been kept down for too long.

‘Tragic’ is more of a joke than a description of the content these works will have. Meant as an antithesis to ‘comic’. But perhaps there is more to the name than thought. The light hearted foolery of books made to amuse children is something we seek to overcome. We lay claim to the Brothers Grimm, not Aesop. To Aeschylus and Homer, not Plato and Socrates. Tragic books will take art seriously, not by overly gritty and dark subjects, but by making art with a great spirit, invoking great powers, and using greater symbols. Tragics will be pagan, not Judeo-Christian.