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Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Comics and TV Authorship

During my month at Middlebury College teaching Intro to the Graphic Novel I had the pleasure of meeting Assistant Professor Jason Mittell from the American Studies and Film & Media Culture Departments. Jason is a media scholar specializing in TV, genre theory, animation and new media among other things; if our classes hadn't met at the same time this winter, I definitely would have been in his Cartoon Culture class discussing Simpsons episodes and Bugs Bunny shorts.

Jason runs the self-explanatory blog JustTV. Not long ago, using my favorite show Gilmore Girls as an example, he posted thoughts on the problem of authorship in TV--who can rightfully be called the "creator" of these programs, often put together by hundreds of people with help/interference from network suits and advertisers? I sent him a note about how this relates to the mainstream comics field, which he was kind enough to run as a post. Coincidentally, Steven Grant tackled the same topic with more insight about a week later in his column for CBR.

More recently, Jason has been involved in the discussion at Middlebury over the use of Wikipedia in the classroom (Midd's History Dept. recently banned the site as a research source), garnering a mention in the New York Times. If you have any interest in how TV is shaped by and shapes our culture, check out the blog.

I checked out the TV blog you linked to, but I can only deal with GILMORE GIRLS fans when they aren't spending all their time talking about GILMORE GIRLS, and, well, he's going to spend a lot of time talking about GILMORE GIRLS, so, I can't go back there.

I'm also mildly bemused by the phrase 'media scholar', but my assumption would be that that has something to do with me being a snide-ass motherfucker.
Actually, I don't think Jason blogs all that much about that particular show--and is unlikely to do so again as he says he stopped watching it after last season. If Ikry remember correctly, when I asked him, he listed Lost and Battlestar Galactica among his favorite shows right now.
Well, he talked far too much about GILMORE GIRLS in the post you linked to.
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