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Comics as literature?

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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited March 2007
    Balefuego wrote: »
    I didn't say it mattered. Most of us seem to agree that it dosen't. But on purely technical terms that would be the difference.

    The fact that each requires its own classification certainly implies that the difference does matter.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2007
    Balefuego wrote: »
    I didn't say it mattered. Most of us seem to agree that it dosen't. But on purely technical terms that would be the difference.

    The fact that each requires its own classification certainly implies that the difference does matter.

    well they require different classifications because they're published in different ways, see

    it would be like calling a vinyl release of london calling a cd. it just isn't that thing.

    Servo on
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  • ZeromusZeromus Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Ultimately, my problem with Identity Crisis is it's the equivalent of making a porno-snuff-film with Disney characters. If you want to tell a story like that, then great, design your own characters and go to town. But don't try to pound a square peg (all-ages characters) into a round hole (overtly mature storylines).

    Why can't these characters be used in mature stories? Infinite Crisis and The OMAC Project were just as dark, if not moreso, than Identity Crisis, and those don't get the same sort of shit thrown at them. And to liken Identity Crisis to a porno-snuff-film? Hardly.
    Servo wrote: »
    Zeromus wrote: »
    Servo wrote: »
    Zeromus wrote: »
    Servo wrote: »
    check out some comics that don't feature men in tights, muchaco


    also, kitchen irish was by far the dumbest of all the punisher max arcs. check out the slavers if you want something that's actually good


    edit- god, identity crisis? really? that's held up as a bastion of literature?

    I do read comics that don't feature men in tights, Kitchen Irish was amazing, and Identity Crisis, while perhaps not a "bastion of literature," did have depth to it, I'd say. Then again, most people here seem not to like it so much, but hey.

    kitchen irish was at best exploitive and at worst, sub-marvel knights physical comedy based much around a wacky disfigured antagonist which, of course, is often par for the course with ennis. i strongly suggest checking out the slavers, war stories, hitman, or even preacher, all of which are far better examples of ennis writing engaging characters and stories with real depth. if you want a better example of the punisher tackling irish issues, even, i suggest volume three of the marvel knights series, wherein frank actually goes to belfast and sees how violence and destruction affect a real city with real consequences.

    the bonus is that nobody writes 'cunts' on a brick of c-4

    I have all of the MAX trades, and I think they're all very good, save perhaps for the fourth volume.

    I liked Kitchen Irish because it really got to who the Punisher is as a character and what he represents, which was all set very nicely against the whole issue of the IRA and the idea of "never-ending conflict." Maybe we were looking for different things. Preacher is also quite good, but I don't think it's as tight as Ennis' work on Punisher.

    And could someone explain to me why whenever this topic is brought up, everyone gets incredibly defensive and seems to take things personally? Seriously, guys, relax.

    it's funny that we disagree this way, because i actually feel like 'up is down and black is white' is a much better examination of the character and his motives and doesn't feel exploitive to me since it doesn't set the sort of goofy cartoon characters ennis sometimes creates up against a real conflict.

    and it's not so much defensive as it is trying to point out all of the much better books you neglected to consider when asking if comics were 'literature'

    I guess it would've been easiest to throw Maus, Sandman, etc. out there, but I was trying to point out my arguments in relation to mainstream comics.
    Balefuego wrote: »
    Zeromus wrote: »
    Servo wrote: »
    check out some comics that don't feature men in tights, muchaco


    also, kitchen irish was by far the dumbest of all the punisher max arcs. check out the slavers if you want something that's actually good


    edit- god, identity crisis? really? that's held up as a bastion of literature?

    I do read comics that don't feature men in tights, Kitchen Irish was amazing, and Identity Crisis, while perhaps not a "bastion of literature," did have depth to it, I'd say. Then again, most people here seem not to like it so much, but hey.

    Both of those comics feature men in tights.

    I... I know that. I was responding to each of his thoughts. :|

    Zeromus on
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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited March 2007
    Servo wrote: »
    Balefuego wrote: »
    Well I think the difference is things described as GN's were not published in issue format, i.e. it's not a collection like a TPB, it was written as a single volume and published as such.

    Although the way some people use it is just as a subjective term to distance it from what they view as inferior mainstream stuff.

    But why does it matter if something was published in issue format? A year later, when the individual issues are out of print and the most readily available format for the story is a trade paperback that is indistinguishable from that of a graphic novel, there's really no difference.

    And nobody acts like there's a difference between the serialized novels of Charles Dickens and novels that are released in their entirety.

    To me, calling comics graphic novels is like calling porn "erotica".

    it's not like anyone alive today read bleak house when it was originally serialized though

    So if "Pride of Baghdad" had been released in singles, but nobody ever read them, would it still be a graphic novel?

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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited March 2007
    Servo wrote: »
    Balefuego wrote: »
    I didn't say it mattered. Most of us seem to agree that it dosen't. But on purely technical terms that would be the difference.

    The fact that each requires its own classification certainly implies that the difference does matter.

    well they require different classifications because they're published in different ways, see

    it would be like calling a vinyl release of london calling a cd. it just isn't that thing.

    But do you claim there's a difference between a cd release of London Calling and an album that was released only on cd just because London Calling was initially released on vinyl? Or is the London Calling cd just a cd?

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  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    It's not a reading distinction, it's a publishing distinction. It has zero to do with the quality or content of the book. At least the way I think of it, which is usually not often.

    Some people do seem to imbue the term with meanings of quality and relevance but those people are idiots.

    Balefuego on
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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited March 2007
    Balefuego wrote: »
    It's not a reading distinction, it's a publishing distinction. It has zero to do with the quality or content of the book. At least the way I think of it, which is usually not often.

    Some people do seem to imbue the term with meanings of quality and relevance but those people are idiots.

    But do the publishers themselves even make the same distinction?

    Hooraydiation on
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  • ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2007
    Servo wrote: »
    Balefuego wrote: »
    I didn't say it mattered. Most of us seem to agree that it dosen't. But on purely technical terms that would be the difference.

    The fact that each requires its own classification certainly implies that the difference does matter.

    well they require different classifications because they're published in different ways, see

    it would be like calling a vinyl release of london calling a cd. it just isn't that thing.

    But do you claim there's a difference between a cd release of London Calling and an album that was released only on cd just because London Calling was initially released on vinyl? Or is the London Calling cd just a cd?


    no, it's just a difference in the format of release, not in the quality of the product. i would think that would be obvious, but apparently not

    Servo on
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  • ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2007
    Balefuego wrote: »
    It's not a reading distinction, it's a publishing distinction. It has zero to do with the quality or content of the book. At least the way I think of it, which is usually not often.

    Some people do seem to imbue the term with meanings of quality and relevance but those people are idiots.

    But do the publishers themselves even make the same distinction?

    are you asking if publishers make a distinction between publishing a 24 page magazine and a bound book?


    the answer is yes, they make a distinction

    Servo on
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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited March 2007
    Servo wrote: »
    Balefuego wrote: »
    It's not a reading distinction, it's a publishing distinction. It has zero to do with the quality or content of the book. At least the way I think of it, which is usually not often.

    Some people do seem to imbue the term with meanings of quality and relevance but those people are idiots.

    But do the publishers themselves even make the same distinction?

    are you asking if publishers make a distinction between publishing a 24 page magazine and a bound book?


    the answer is yes, they make a distinction

    No, if they make a distinction between publishing a bound book and publishing a bound book with content that had initially been published in a different format.

    I'm asking why there's a perceived difference between Pride of Baghdad and my Sebastian O trade.

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  • ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2007
    Servo wrote: »
    Balefuego wrote: »
    It's not a reading distinction, it's a publishing distinction. It has zero to do with the quality or content of the book. At least the way I think of it, which is usually not often.

    Some people do seem to imbue the term with meanings of quality and relevance but those people are idiots.

    But do the publishers themselves even make the same distinction?

    are you asking if publishers make a distinction between publishing a 24 page magazine and a bound book?


    the answer is yes, they make a distinction

    No, if they make a distinction between publishing a bound book and publishing a bound book with content that had initially been published in a different format.
    look, who gives a shit?

    Servo on
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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited March 2007
    Servo wrote: »
    look, who gives a shit?

    Anyone who chooses to engage in a discussion on the subject?

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  • ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2007
    Servo wrote: »
    Balefuego wrote: »
    It's not a reading distinction, it's a publishing distinction. It has zero to do with the quality or content of the book. At least the way I think of it, which is usually not often.

    Some people do seem to imbue the term with meanings of quality and relevance but those people are idiots.

    But do the publishers themselves even make the same distinction?

    are you asking if publishers make a distinction between publishing a 24 page magazine and a bound book?


    the answer is yes, they make a distinction

    No, if they make a distinction between publishing a bound book and publishing a bound book with content that had initially been published in a different format.

    I'm asking why there's a perceived difference between Pride of Baghdad and my Sebastian O trade.

    the percieved difference is that one was published all in one go and the others were not

    you know that

    shut the fuck up about it

    Servo on
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  • ZeromusZeromus Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I'm not really sure what you're trying to say, Hooraydiation, and I think this thread has spun wildly off-topic.

    Also, I think everyone jumped straight to shit-slinging that it's hard to tell what people were even trying to get at. Perhaps the issue everyone is having a problem with is others shoehorning alleged meaning or depth into comics? They're entertainment and viewing them as anything else is a futile or meaningless effort?

    Zeromus on
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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited March 2007
    Some in the comics community have objected to the term "graphic novel" on the grounds that it is unnecessary, or that its usage has been corrupted by commercial interests. Writer Alan Moore believes:

    “It's a marketing term. I mean, it was one that I never had any sympathy with. The term 'comic' does just as well for me. ... The problem is that 'graphic novel' just came to mean 'expensive comic book' and so what you'd get is people like DC Comics or Marvel comics — because 'graphic novels' were getting some attention, they'd stick six issues of whatever worthless piece of crap they happened to be publishing lately under a glossy cover and call it The She-Hulk Graphic Novel, you know?"

    Author Daniel Raeburn wrote "I snicker at the neologism first for its insecure pretension - the literary equivalent of calling a garbage man a 'sanitation engineer' - and second because a 'graphic novel' is in fact the very thing it is ashamed to admit: a comic book, rather than a comic pamphlet or comic magazine."

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  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Zeromus wrote: »
    I'm not really sure what you're trying to say, Hooraydiation, and I think this thread has spun wildly off-topic.

    Also, I think everyone jumped straight to shit-slinging that it's hard to tell what people were even trying to get at. Perhaps the issue everyone is having a problem with is others shoehorning alleged meaning or depth into comics? They're entertainment and viewing them as anything else is a futile or meaningless effort?

    Thats not what I'm saying. My problem is people clinging to the GN moniker because they feel it somehow pureifies their chosen book from the less favorable connations that "comics" brings. But to those people I say shut the fuck up.

    I don't agree that comics don't have have any value as art. I mean even writing aside alot of the actual artwork in the books is worthy of the term. And yes some of the writing is too. Most of the comics I read are superhero stuff, and while there is often good, even great writing, rarely would I call it art. But to dismiss it as a viable medium for it is pretty narrow minded.

    Balefuego on
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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited March 2007
    And while I cease enjoying a conversation when Servo starts acting like an asshole, I still feel I should try to make my point as clear as possible.

    Portions of Chuck Palahniuk's "Haunted" were released in a magazine prior to the publication of the full length novel, and yet no distinction is made between "Haunted" and the author's other works (and the people who read "Guts" in Playboy aren't even dead yet), and the same is the case for every other novel with content that had been serialized prior to the publication of the book itself.

    Full length albums with tracks that were initially released in EPs before finding their way to an LP.

    I literally cannot think of any other instance where two works, all other qualities being equal, are regarded as different simply because the former was initially released in portions through a less expensive format before being collected in its entirety. Because of this, I think the need for the distinction between Graphic Novels and Comic Books is an invented one that serves no real purpose.

    What's more, the trend of referring to "good" comics as graphic novels creates the impression that one work could somehow be inferior to another simply because its history of publication. Even if some or most of us recognize that the idea is ridiculous, it is nonetheless there and therefore a needless complication that serves to confuse newcomers and lead to idiotic arguments.

    And that's why I think we should just admit that graphic novels ARE comic books and use the terms interchangeably, or just stop using the term GN altogether.



    This all would have been a lot less tiresome if nobody had tried to justify the use of the classification. That's not to say I don't think they should have, because I wouldn't be here if I didn't like conversation. I just thought it was worth mentioning.

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  • ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2007
    to be fair to me, it was a pretty stupid tangent. everyone here agrees that graphic novel and comic are really the same thing and at best delineate a difference in the way it was originally published and we all agree that the distinction is dumb. so, y'know

    Servo on
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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited March 2007
    Servo wrote: »
    to be fair to me, it was a pretty stupid tangent. everyone here agrees that graphic novel and comic are really the same thing and at best delineate a difference in the way it was originally published and we all agree that the distinction is dumb. so, y'know

    More than one person claimed that graphic novels and comic books were different in a meaningful way, ya weirdo.

    And I think the fact that the term creates that impression, even if the term's true definition does nothing of the sort, was worth mentioning and calls the value of the term in question.

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  • VirralVirral Registered User
    edited March 2007
    I agree 100%, to distinguish between two books because one was originally serialised and the other wasn't is crazy.

    The implication that because a "graphic novel" was published in one hit this somehow makes it automatically better than a "comic book" which was released in several parts is crazy.

    The only thing to make sense is to take each book on its own merits, not judge something as more or less worthy based on something as arbitary as its publishing schedule.

    Virral on
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  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Servo wrote: »
    Balefuego wrote: »
    I didn't say it mattered. Most of us seem to agree that it dosen't. But on purely technical terms that would be the difference.

    The fact that each requires its own classification certainly implies that the difference does matter.

    well they require different classifications because they're published in different ways, see

    it would be like calling a vinyl release of london calling a cd. it just isn't that thing.

    Different format. Same thing. One might be heavier than the other or feature a more exciting bit of cover art.

    That's the only difference between a GN and a comic. Have you read some of the things that pass as literature? If anything your average man in tights comic book should just be considered youth literature. That's it, all of it is literature. You can find copies of Moby fucking Dick with illustrations inside of them. Pictures do not subvert plotlines.

    Actually wait, does the OP even have a real arguement?

    DasUberEdward on
  • ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2007
    Servo wrote: »
    Balefuego wrote: »
    I didn't say it mattered. Most of us seem to agree that it dosen't. But on purely technical terms that would be the difference.

    The fact that each requires its own classification certainly implies that the difference does matter.

    well they require different classifications because they're published in different ways, see

    it would be like calling a vinyl release of london calling a cd. it just isn't that thing.

    Different format. Same thing. One might be heavier than the other or feature a more exciting bit of cover art.

    That's the only difference between a GN and a comic. Have you read some of the things that pass as literature? If anything your average man in tights comic book should just be considered youth literature. That's it, all of it is literature. You can find copies of Moby fucking Dick with illustrations inside of them. Pictures do not subvert plotlines.

    Actually wait, does the OP even have a real arguement?

    right, it just isn't the same format

    Servo on
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  • ZeromusZeromus Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Servo wrote: »
    Balefuego wrote: »
    I didn't say it mattered. Most of us seem to agree that it dosen't. But on purely technical terms that would be the difference.

    The fact that each requires its own classification certainly implies that the difference does matter.

    well they require different classifications because they're published in different ways, see

    it would be like calling a vinyl release of london calling a cd. it just isn't that thing.

    Different format. Same thing. One might be heavier than the other or feature a more exciting bit of cover art.

    That's the only difference between a GN and a comic. Have you read some of the things that pass as literature? If anything your average man in tights comic book should just be considered youth literature. That's it, all of it is literature. You can find copies of Moby fucking Dick with illustrations inside of them. Pictures do not subvert plotlines.

    Actually wait, does the OP even have a real arguement?

    I never really said anything about differentiating GN and comics.

    Zeromus on
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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited March 2007
    Servo wrote: »
    Servo wrote: »
    to be fair to me, it was a pretty stupid tangent. everyone here agrees that graphic novel and comic are really the same thing and at best delineate a difference in the way it was originally published and we all agree that the distinction is dumb. so, y'know

    More than one person claimed that graphic novels and comic books were different in a meaningful way, ya weirdo.

    And I think the fact that the term creates that impression, even if the term's true definition does nothing of the sort, was worth mentioning and calls the value of the term in question.

    so start a new thread?


    rather than derailing this one?

    It's pretty obviously related to the original topic, which is predicated upon the idea that literature is inherently more artistically valuable than comic books and that comic books would have to strive to reach the level of literature. The word literature implies greater quality even though the actual definition of the word does not, just as the term graphic novel suggests superiority to "mere comics".

    Also,
    "This is not a comic, it is a graphic novel."

    is in the very first sentence of the very first post.

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  • ZeromusZeromus Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Servo wrote: »
    Servo wrote: »
    to be fair to me, it was a pretty stupid tangent. everyone here agrees that graphic novel and comic are really the same thing and at best delineate a difference in the way it was originally published and we all agree that the distinction is dumb. so, y'know

    More than one person claimed that graphic novels and comic books were different in a meaningful way, ya weirdo.

    And I think the fact that the term creates that impression, even if the term's true definition does nothing of the sort, was worth mentioning and calls the value of the term in question.

    so start a new thread?


    rather than derailing this one?

    It's pretty obviously related to the original topic, which is predicated upon the idea that literature is inherently more artistically valuable than comic books and that comic books would have to strive to reach the level of literature. The word literature implies greater quality even though the actual definition of the word does not, just as the term graphic novel suggests superiority to "mere comics".

    Also,
    "This is not a comic, it is a graphic novel."
    is in the very first sentence of the very first post.

    I was making fun of people who said such things.

    Zeromus on
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  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    So then we all agree?

    DasUberEdward on
  • ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2007
    So then we all agree?

    apparently not!

    Servo on
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  • ZeromusZeromus Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I don't really even know what's going on in this thread anymore. I... I've created a monster.

    Zeromus on
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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited March 2007
    Zeromus wrote: »
    I was making fun of people who said such things.

    Obviously, but that doesn't change the fact that you were expressing an opinion on a subject that encouraged further statements on the subject both before and after my own.

    And, like I said, the whole Graphic Novel thing is directly connected to your statements on perception of quality.

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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited March 2007
    Servo wrote: »
    So then we all agree?

    apparently not!

    If we disagree, it's on whether or not the term Graphic Novel needs to exist and, furthermore, whether or not it has a detrimental effect on comic books.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2007
    it doesn't need to exist, but i bet you'll have a tough time stamping it out

    how would it have a detrimental effect?

    Servo on
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  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I really feel that the graphic novel format (a single story contained to a single book) more easily achieves literature-quality levels of storytelling than a serialized format.

    This is not to say that serialized comics don't ever get that good, some do at times, but it's harder. It's the difference between soap operas and film. Yes, there are many shitty films, and yes, there have been occasions where various soap operas have truly, truly risen to the occasion and hit it out of the park, but it's much easier to do this with the former than the latter.

    Regina Fong on
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Servo wrote: »
    it doesn't need to exist, but i bet you'll have a tough time stamping it out

    how would it have a detrimental effect?



    Why doesn't it need to exist?

    Graphic novels are comics, but not all comics are graphic novels. As was pointed out; Pride of Baghdad is a graphic novel. Kingdom Come is a graphic novel. Preacher is not a graphic novel.

    Regina Fong on
  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited March 2007
    Servo wrote: »
    it doesn't need to exist, but i bet you'll have a tough time stamping it out

    how would it have a detrimental effect?

    People use the term to distinguish between comics of quality and shitty comics. This ertausage of the word mixes with its true meaning (format, apparently), often creating the impression that the format in which a comic is released is indicative of its quality.

    This creates confusion among people who don't fully understand the word and leads to certain stories being overlooked for no legitimate reason. This is in addition to encouraging the people the original poster is complaining about, and no doubt contributing to the phenomena of "waiting for the trade" which leads to low sales on singles and subsequent cancellations of titles despite actual popularity.

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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited March 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »
    I really feel that the graphic novel format (a single story contained to a single book) more easily achieves literature-quality levels of storytelling than a serialized format.

    This is not to say that serialized comics don't ever get that good, some do at times, but it's harder. It's the difference between soap operas and film. Yes, there are many shitty films, and yes, there have been occasions where various soap operas have truly, truly risen to the occasion and hit it out of the park, but it's much easier to do this with the former than the latter.

    But graphic novels and serialized comics (miniseries, certainly) are created in the same exact way. The differences don't appear until long after the work has left the creators hands.

    So then, why would a writer and artist have a harder time with one than with the other?
    Graphic novels are comics, but not all comics are graphic novels. As was pointed out; Pride of Baghdad is a graphic novel. Kingdom Come is a graphic novel. Preacher is not a graphic novel.

    Kingdom Come was serialized.

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  • The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I just call everything comcics.

    Some of them are longer than the others.

    This keeps me out of these debates.

    The Lovely Bastard on
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  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »
    Servo wrote: »
    it doesn't need to exist, but i bet you'll have a tough time stamping it out

    how would it have a detrimental effect?



    Why doesn't it need to exist?

    Graphic novels are comics, but not all comics are graphic novels. As was pointed out; Pride of Baghdad is a graphic novel. Kingdom Come is a graphic novel. Preacher is not a graphic novel.

    But . . .they are all still literature. Regardless of the packaging. They all have merits, just a different package.


    Right?

    DasUberEdward on
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    This is in addition to encouraging the people the original poster is complaining about, and no doubt contributing to the phenomena of "waiting for the trade" which leads to low sales on singles and subsequent cancellations of titles despite actual popularity.

    There are legitimate reasons to "wait for the trade", whether it's my foolishly missing the beginning of The Oath, or the fact that I didn't start collecting Runaways until well into the second "season", and now desire my entire Runaways collection to be in the cute manga-sized format.

    :-p

    Regina Fong on
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited March 2007

    But . . .they are all still literature. Regardless of the packaging. They all have merits, just a different package.


    Right?



    All of the three examples I mentioned are literature, yes.

    Regina Fong on
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited March 2007

    Kingdom Come was serialized.

    My bad, does not change my point however. See my post prior to this one.

    Regina Fong on
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