Step in the Arrhenius: the cartoon wall Pete links to reminds me of a couple of amazing Lars Arrhenius pieces I’ve seen over the last year or two: his terrific A-Z (at Peer) which had one of those flow-diagram comic art thing laid out across the A-Z map of London (also available as a large-format pseudo A-Z book); and as a kind of high-water mark of the flattening of his super-smooth graphic style, the life story of a stick man which was shown at Victoria Miro last year. This latter piece (I’ve forgotten its name, sorry) managed to be funny, optimistic and fatalistic all at once, as various life choices left the stick man at similar ends. (You can see a flavour of this at the magic “The Man In Replay” if you like.)

At the same time I’ve been looking at Matt’s terrific “Cary Grant“. Reading the whole 200 frames one at a time on the web slows the whole process down such that it’s a very different experience to reading it in a comic book, never mind (like the Arrhenius stuff I’ve seen) all at once on a wall. I wonder whether putting this kind of work up on the wall makes me pay it more mind than putting it in a book would?

And so here’s the thing: I’ve sat through enough dreadful art films to cause me to worry that many films in art galleries are simply films not good enough to justify being shown in cinemas. I’m not much of a comics person, as you can probably tell, but is the same thing true of comics: is comic art in the gallery always liable to the horrible suspicion that it simply couldn’t cut it on the shelves?

I believe I am suffering the dilettante’s fear of the snob, only exacerbated by the fact that the snobbery I fear is inverted and possibly imaginary.