I don’t know whether to laugh or cry that people have decided this quote means Ben Edlund doesn’t care about anything other than prose and words and knows nothing about the visual and that’s the problem with his directing.
Uh…you do know that he’s an artist? Not just an artist, but a comics artist, which means he knows all about the importance of visual exposition and not just dialogue. When he worked on The Tick cartoon, he was so concerned with the visual aspect of the show that he apparently storyboarded the first few episodes by himself. (Apparently his obsession with making the show look right—among other things—also made it quite a bit late…) He’s said a lot of his ideas start out as pictures and drawings. Phil Sgriccia said one of the strong points he brought to his directing was that he is a very visual thinker.
You cannot conclude that he doesn’t care about anything but prose and knows nothing about the visual from a quote where he says his scripts start out with a lot of prose. Just how on earth do you even get “I don’t care about anything but prose” from “I think prose is good.”? Even if you don’t know the first thing about Edlund, that makes no sense. And if you do know anything about him, it becomes a ridiculous misinterpretation of what he said. Personally, I think his visual-orientation contributes to his writing style, because he probably has a very clear image of how he wants things to look and that ends up expanding his drafts with a lot of (possibly descriptive) prose that doesn’t have any place in a script.
I don’t know whether the directing in TMWWBK (or “Reading is Fundamental”, or “Smile Time”, or that one short film he co-directed) is technically good or weak or whatever. I thought TMWWBK was a strikingly beautiful episode—and both RiF and “Smile Time” had their moments too—so I’m personally satisfied with his directing work. But that’s just my personal opinion; I have no technical knowledge of what makes “good” directing and I am not a visual person myself so I really can’t properly critique it. But I do know that whatever his weaknesses as a director are, they have nothing whatsoever to do with him not understanding or appreciating the importance of the visual.