Why Must Everything be Depressing to be Called Art?

The title pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter. Why does something have to  be depressing to be considered art? So many pieces of art are dark and are reflections of the turmoil of the artist’s soul. So why isn’t there an art form that seems happy? I am a huge comic fan, from the funnies to graphic art novels, I love them all. But the biggest thing that I noticed is that all of the novels are dark and gritty. I understand that it can be difficult to sell graphic novels as a form of artistic storytelling, and using dark stories make it seem more like an edgy art form, but I don’t think that it needs to be all dark all the time. Take for example Super hero comics, they have certainly evolved from the golden age of campy superheros in spandex to more modern and gritty heroes. But before that the styles of comics were continuously evolving. One of my favorite examples is the work of Jim Steranko when he worked on the Nick Fury comics of the late 60’s.   The whole style he incorporated into comics is still recognized today as one of the most recognized and influential style utilized in comics. the art was very psychedelic in nature and reflected the ‘far out’ nature of the time. While the comic mostly dealt with gritty spy stories, the art made it seem much more like a James Bond movie intro. Art like this is why I feel like a graphic novel shouldn’t have to be depressing, the art styles and story can be fun, as long as the artist and author choose to write it as such.

1 thought on “Why Must Everything be Depressing to be Called Art?

  1. I think the fact that graphic novels tend to deal with the depressing aspects of the world has to do with the same reason why so much fiction also deals with not the happiest of topics. Not only is writing about depressing topics easier for most people, it can make for a much better story. Additionally, most aspects of the world have some grit to them so if there was a novel or graphic novel where the world was perfect then it wouldn’t be realistic or relatable and therefore not do as well.

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