Funnybook Babylon

September 15, 2009

FBBP #112 – Young Liars: The Final Chapter

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 3:35 pm

As promised at the end of episode 111, we present a contentious look back at David Lapham’s Young Liars, a frequent podcast topic. In the end, did anyone change their mind? Were any of us Spiders? We may never know!

1 Comment »

  1. Hey FBB,

    Like most on the cast, I have really strong reactions to Young Liars, though not in any sort of distinctly love or hate kind of way. I usually love head-trippy meta comics, but I think I have to agree with (I think it was) Pedro that the format of this book really works against its purpose. I think if the story had been released in a series of standalone volumes Lapham would’ve been forced to make the characterization, plotting and pacing immaculate. It wouldn’t have allowed for the loose playing around the series did.

    While I can see that Lapham’s goal might not have been to craft a Morrison/Moore-esque type of story, I do think that the story might have been tightened without losing what seems to have been Lapham’s goal of telling a dream-logic story influcenced heavily by music and modern culture.

    I’ve heard this mentioned elsewhere (maybe here, but I can’t remember) but I tend to have reactions to the series and the individual issues that are very similar to my reactions to music. There doesn’t need to be too much traditional narrative devices tying together the ideas, but there’s enough common themes song-to-song (issue-to-issue/story-thread-to-story-thread) to maintain the feeling the artist is trying to evoke.

    I can totally understand how people can outright HATE Young Liars, but I think that has largely to do with their expectations of what the story is designed to do, their expectations about how stories have to be constructed, and their (usually) highly trained abilities of analysis that depend heavily on a piece of work that meets (or tries to meet) those expectations. When something bucks those expectations it can be rather repulsive.

    I don’t think Lapham came anywhere close to entirely succeeding in meeting the differing expectations he seemed to be setting of telling a story in a way that evoked music and that never really gave all the answers. More answers, more consistent thematic devices, and a closed-ended story structure would’ve gone a long way toward making the book more a success in my mind. But to me though an ambitious failure is ALWAYS more interesting than a ho-hum success.

    So to sum up this horribly long and rambly comment, I think if Lapham had to work around a specific number of pages and had really worked on plot dynamics, pacing and thematic devices LONG BEFORE ever drawing a single page, the story would be much better than it is now.

    I honestly liked it, but I totally see why the book was canceled.

    Comment by Terrence — September 15, 2009 @ 7:43 pm

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