Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Unstable Molecules: Interview with James Sturm

Next Monday in the Graphic Novels Seminar, we will be discussing Unstable Molecules by James Sturm and Guy Davis. As background reading, I wanted to point out an interview with James Sturm done by Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Journal. Here's a snip of Sturm's comments:
The Fantastic Four was about this family who were superheroes. But they were a family first, right? That's what made the book tick. That's what I was trying to get at, this dysfunctional family that love/hate relationship they all have with each other. I think that's what Lee and Kirby were trying to do, right?
Throughout the book, there are lots of visual and verbal references back to the Lee and Kirby version of the Fantastic Four. In fact, like It's a Bird, Unstable Molecules depends on an intertextual relationship with previous material that is enacted in different ways through each reader's engagement with the text. The interview begins to get at some of those links as Sturm sees them (which are not, of course, the only links that readers can/will make, nor will these links be confined to the intertexts of the Fantastic Four).

Speaking of intertextual references, within the narrative of the Fantastic Four, the concept of unstable molecules is what allowed the fabric of the teams' costumes to both conform to their bodies and not be affected by their powers. It's a fascinating title for a book about family.

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