Episode 90 show notes: Deceptive First Looks

Episode 90: Deceptive First Looks

Whether you’re looking at the thumbnails to pages of a new comic or the art on the cover, sometimes that first look can be deceptive. Comics are a combination of words and pictures, right? Sometimes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Art you might not think you’d like turns out to be pretty good when read in the context of the story.

That’s what this podcast is all about.

I mentioned my review of Penelope Bagieu’s “Josephine” in this podcast.

The name of the autobiographical artist I blanked on during the podcast is Margaux Motion. This is her Instagram account.

Here’s the audio over a still image to entice the YouTube algorithms:

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What do YOU think? (First time commenters' posts may be held for moderation.)


  1. That’s a tricky subject.
    In my experience, it never worked though. A few times in my life I forced myself through a book despite a negative (or indifferent) first impression, after being told ‘you should like this book’ by good-intentioned people. I can’t recall a single time it worked for me. Best case scenario, I went ‘Meh’ and dropped it. Though I have to admit it’s not always because of the art. Mediocre writers sometimes get the privilege of securing incredibly talented artists who, despite their best efforts, never manage to elevate poor script or poor dialogue. I have so many examples of that, so-so books wasted on a great artist.

    1. I tend to agree with you, but it’s just happened too many times that books I didn’t think I’d like from flipping through the pages work out much better when I actually READ the pages, not just look at them. Something snaps into place somehow.

      But, yes, there are MORE examples of the opposite happening — the art doesn’t look good to me and it doesn’t get any better from “reading” it.

      It’s definitely not a 100% thing, but it’s always good to keep an open mind.

      That said, I have plenty of stuff I WANT to read that I don’t have time for that my mind doesn’t need to stay THAT open to outside influences. 😉

      1. Fair enough, keeping an open mind is indeed the key.
        I definitely understand where you’re coming from, the fairly standardized aspect of mainstream US comics, especially as you started reading in the 90s, when the Image house style was permeating everywhere, sadly.
        I’d say so far I had mostly the opposite problem, from the moment I started reading BD as a kid, my tastes became way too eclectic and I had to try to rein things in because there are so many good books out there, I wanted to have everything and eventually I had to stop when my house was full and no more space to stash anything new. From classic golden age strips to the Marcinelle school, from the Jacobs/Hergé ligne claire to the crazy acid trips of the Pilote years.
        Then I discovered Manga and all Hell broke loose, all the way from Osamu Tezuka to Masamune Shirow, I wanted more.
        Eventually I became more conservative, less prone to trying something different and now, being a bit older than you, have to make tougher choices when it comes to my reading time, and shelf space. Digital helps, but not as much as I’d like.