Thursday, September 11, 2008

Poetry and comics

I was very pleased to stumble upon this today: a comic strip by David Heatley using a Diane Wakoski poem about belly dancing, part of The Poetry Foundation's The Poem as Comic Strip series. Not only is belly dancing my wife's artistic passion (much like poetry is mine), but I have been mistaken for Diane Wakoski several times in my life. We don't look alike, but we have similar names (D'Anne Witkowski/Diane Wakoski). I'm not even that familar with her work, but from what I've read we don't write that much alike.

The Poem as Comic Strip series also features an Emily Dickinson poem illustrated by Gabrielle Bell. But it looks like that's it. Just these two.

I love this melding of artforms and want to see a whole book of these comic/poem collaborations. From what I can find there does exist a book called Poetry Comics: An Animated Anthology by Dave Morice, but Morice, I believe, is the only comic artist represented. Then there's Kenneth Koch's The Art of the Possible!: Comics Mainly Without Pictures, in which Koch illustrates some of his own poems, and The Nancy Book by Joe Brainard in which he, well co-opts Nancy comics for his own poetic purposes.

What I can't find is an anthology in which different comic book artists take on the work of different poets. I would love to see a Charlie Smith poem illustrated by Chris Ware or a Barbara Ras poem illustrated by Lynda Barry (hell, I'd love one of MY poems to be illustrated by her). The possibilities are endless. I don't know how long the The Poem as Comic Strip series has been going. Perhaps they have this kind of goodness already planned.

1 comment:

Laura said...

You should call up McSweeney's - that would be right up their alley, yes?