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Comics as literature?

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Posts

  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited March 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »
    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

    In those cases, you didn't really wait so much as you missed one opportunity and took advantage of a later one.

    But trade paperbacks are apparently different from graphic novels despite the two being visually indistinguishable, so my point about the term graphic novels encouraging people to wait for trades was incorrect since the two aren't connected for the purposes of that point in the conversation (even if I think they mean the same thing).

    The perception of singles being lower quality than graphic novels no doubt affects the sales of singles in some way, though.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »

    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.

    So uh what is our discourse here? The OP says "Comics as literature?", as if it's some sort of question that is analyzing the difference between comics and other forms of literature. Note, when I just said comics I meant it in an all encompassing form that included Graphic Novels, TPBs, and whatever else. That should be logical and we should just consider those other things as further classifications of format.

    I'm so confused :(

    DasUberEdward on
  • Me Too!Me Too! __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    I think that, in general, comics don't count as literature. Honestly. I defy you to pick up USM (Not a TPB, just an issue), and call it a graphic novel. Same thing with Moon Knight, or Nova (when he's out, I can't fucking wait!). Although, Moon Knight has been kinda graphic...I digress.

    Now, something like "Dark Knight Returns" or "Spider-Man: Reign"? That's a little closer to graphic novel. If it doesn't come close to telling a story like that, then shut the fuck up. It's not a novel. It's a goddamn comic.

    And those people who call comics "graphic novels", kids, are the people who will never get laid.

    Me Too! on
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »

    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.

    So uh what is our discourse here? The OP says "Comics as literature?", as if it's some sort of question that is analyzing the difference between comics and other forms of literature. Note, when I just said comics I meant it in an all encompassing form that included Graphic Novels, TPBs, and whatever else. That should be logical and we should just consider those other things as further classifications of format.

    I'm so confused :(



    Literature isn't just any old thing written down on paper. I'll quote the dictionary for you, with the caveat that I am well aware of the fact that quoting from a dictionary doesn't ever win arguments:
    writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays.


    It's that "in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest" part that many comics fail to achieve. All comics are undoubtedly a form of artistic and linguistic expression, art, if you will. But no, a comic is not automatically literature, any more than a novel is.

    Regina Fong on
  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »
    jeepguy wrote: »

    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.

    So uh what is our discourse here? The OP says "Comics as literature?", as if it's some sort of question that is analyzing the difference between comics and other forms of literature. Note, when I just said comics I meant it in an all encompassing form that included Graphic Novels, TPBs, and whatever else. That should be logical and we should just consider those other things as further classifications of format.

    I'm so confused :(



    Literature isn't just any old thing written down on paper. I'll quote the dictionary for you, with the caveat that I am well aware of the fact that quoting from a dictionary doesn't ever win arguments:
    writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays.


    It's that "in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest" part that many comics fail to achieve. All comics are undoubtedly a form of artistic and linguistic expression, art, if you will. But no, a comic is not automatically literature, any more than a novel is.

    Good point but i'm going to say that since all novels and magazines are classified as literature by the majority of retailers it would be silly to bar comics from that classification.

    And Wiggin. You're furthering an arguement that has already been dismissed. By saying pick up a single issue and not a TPB you're pointing out that someone would be buying a single part of a story instead of the entire thing, which clearly detracts from the worth of the item.

    DasUberEdward on
  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited March 2007
    I think that, in general, comics don't count as literature. Honestly. I defy you to pick up USM (Not a TPB, just an issue), and call it a graphic novel. Same thing with Moon Knight, or Nova (when he's out, I can't fucking wait!). Although, Moon Knight has been kinda graphic...I digress.

    Now, something like "Dark Knight Returns" or "Spider-Man: Reign"? That's a little closer to graphic novel. If it doesn't come close to telling a story like that, then shut the fuck up. It's not a novel. It's a goddamn comic.

    And those people who call comics "graphic novels", kids, are the people who will never get laid.

    Yeah, but you wouldn't call the first segment of Charles Dickens' "Hard Times" a novel.

    That doesn't change the fact that "Hard Times" itself is a novel, however. Given that, I'd also say that the complete collection of a comic's story arc is also a graphic novel.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »
    jeepguy wrote: »

    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.

    So uh what is our discourse here? The OP says "Comics as literature?", as if it's some sort of question that is analyzing the difference between comics and other forms of literature. Note, when I just said comics I meant it in an all encompassing form that included Graphic Novels, TPBs, and whatever else. That should be logical and we should just consider those other things as further classifications of format.

    I'm so confused :(



    Literature isn't just any old thing written down on paper. I'll quote the dictionary for you, with the caveat that I am well aware of the fact that quoting from a dictionary doesn't ever win arguments:
    writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays.


    It's that "in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest" part that many comics fail to achieve. All comics are undoubtedly a form of artistic and linguistic expression, art, if you will. But no, a comic is not automatically literature, any more than a novel is.
    Good point but i'm going to say that since all novels and magazines are classified as literature by the majority of retailers it would be silly to bar comics from that classification.


    The word has multiple meanings, one of them encompases all writings. Comics would fall under this, provided they had any meaningful ammount of text (I imagine there's been more than one comic without text, or with negligible ammounts of text).

    But this definition is so fucking broad that I find no point in discussing it. Cookbooks qualify as literature under this definition.

    The more meaningful, and exclusive definition of literature is more worthy of this debate.

    Regina Fong on
  • ZeromusZeromus Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »
    jeepguy wrote: »

    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.

    So uh what is our discourse here? The OP says "Comics as literature?", as if it's some sort of question that is analyzing the difference between comics and other forms of literature. Note, when I just said comics I meant it in an all encompassing form that included Graphic Novels, TPBs, and whatever else. That should be logical and we should just consider those other things as further classifications of format.

    I'm so confused :(



    Literature isn't just any old thing written down on paper. I'll quote the dictionary for you, with the caveat that I am well aware of the fact that quoting from a dictionary doesn't ever win arguments:
    writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays.
    It's that "in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest" part that many comics fail to achieve. All comics are undoubtedly a form of artistic and linguistic expression, art, if you will. But no, a comic is not automatically literature, any more than a novel is.
    Good point but i'm going to say that since all novels and magazines are classified as literature by the majority of retailers it would be silly to bar comics from that classification.

    Again, I don't think it's cut-and-dry like that. The definition of literature has shifted in our vernacular to imply a... substantive quality? Even if a bookstore classifies shock writing as "literature," I don't think that's necessarily true. And I think that there's a cultural stigma regarding the comic book medium itself such that the average person probably wouldn't dare think a Batman book could be literature (such as it is defined in society), but would probably pick up a Palahniuk book and deem it so only because it is thick and doesn't have pictures.

    Zeromus on
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  • Me Too!Me Too! __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    I think that, in general, comics don't count as literature. Honestly. I defy you to pick up USM (Not a TPB, just an issue), and call it a graphic novel. Same thing with Moon Knight, or Nova (when he's out, I can't fucking wait!). Although, Moon Knight has been kinda graphic...I digress.

    Now, something like "Dark Knight Returns" or "Spider-Man: Reign"? That's a little closer to graphic novel. If it doesn't come close to telling a story like that, then shut the fuck up. It's not a novel. It's a goddamn comic.

    And those people who call comics "graphic novels", kids, are the people who will never get laid.

    Yeah, but you wouldn't call the first segment of Charles Dickens' "Hard Times" a novel.

    That doesn't change the fact that "Hard Times" itself is a novel, however. Given that, I'd also say that the complete collection of a comic's story arc is also a graphic novel.

    Not necessarily. Again, I'll use USM as an example. Go pick up, say, the Hobgoblin one (I'm just using that because it's the one I have). That's not a graphic novel. "Hard Times" is it's own story. The Hobgoblin arc is part of the complete USM story. "Spiderman: Reign" and "Dark Night Returns" are their own stories. Hence, they deserve the title of graphic novel. Along with "Watchmen", of course.

    Me Too! on
  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »
    jeepguy wrote: »
    jeepguy wrote: »

    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.

    So uh what is our discourse here? The OP says "Comics as literature?", as if it's some sort of question that is analyzing the difference between comics and other forms of literature. Note, when I just said comics I meant it in an all encompassing form that included Graphic Novels, TPBs, and whatever else. That should be logical and we should just consider those other things as further classifications of format.

    I'm so confused :(



    Literature isn't just any old thing written down on paper. I'll quote the dictionary for you, with the caveat that I am well aware of the fact that quoting from a dictionary doesn't ever win arguments:
    writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays.


    It's that "in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest" part that many comics fail to achieve. All comics are undoubtedly a form of artistic and linguistic expression, art, if you will. But no, a comic is not automatically literature, any more than a novel is.
    Good point but i'm going to say that since all novels and magazines are classified as literature by the majority of retailers it would be silly to bar comics from that classification.


    The word has multiple meanings, one of them encompases all writings. Comics would fall under this, provided they had any meaningful ammount of text (I imagine there's been more than one comic without text, or with negligible ammounts of text).

    But this definition is so fucking broad that I find no point in discussing it. Cookbooks qualify as literature under this definition.

    The more meaningful, and exclusive definition of literature is more worthy of this debate.

    Then if that is the case it would take a case by case examination of every release to see if it is worthy of being called literature. Essentially we are looking at a situation very similar to what we have with movies where we've created the classification of "popcorn flick".

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

    Then if that is the case it would take a case by case examination of every release to see if it is worthy of being called literature.

    Yes, absolutely. As with films, there are certain indicators of quality that you can use to gain an idea of whether the comic will be high quality before reading it, but every comic needs to be evaluated on its own merits as to whether or not it meets the criteria to be called literature....

    You expected something else? Something easier?

    Sorry, no short-cuts here.


    Essentially we are looking at a situation very similar to what we have with movies where we've created the classification of "popcorn flick".

    Yes. I thought this was self-evident.

    Regina Fong on
  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited March 2007
    I think that, in general, comics don't count as literature. Honestly. I defy you to pick up USM (Not a TPB, just an issue), and call it a graphic novel. Same thing with Moon Knight, or Nova (when he's out, I can't fucking wait!). Although, Moon Knight has been kinda graphic...I digress.

    Now, something like "Dark Knight Returns" or "Spider-Man: Reign"? That's a little closer to graphic novel. If it doesn't come close to telling a story like that, then shut the fuck up. It's not a novel. It's a goddamn comic.

    And those people who call comics "graphic novels", kids, are the people who will never get laid.

    Yeah, but you wouldn't call the first segment of Charles Dickens' "Hard Times" a novel.

    That doesn't change the fact that "Hard Times" itself is a novel, however. Given that, I'd also say that the complete collection of a comic's story arc is also a graphic novel.

    Not necessarily. Again, I'll use USM as an example. Go pick up, say, the Hobgoblin one (I'm just using that because it's the one I have). That's not a graphic novel. "Hard Times" is it's own story. The Hobgoblin arc is part of the complete USM story. "Spiderman: Reign" and "Dark Night Returns" are their own stories. Hence, they deserve the title of graphic novel. Along with "Watchmen", of course.

    What do you mean by "Hobgoblin one"? Are you referring to an issue with Hobgoblin, or the entire story arc featuring Hobgoblin?

    In any case, I'd call that one a graphic novel or a portion of a graphic novel depending on what you mean.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »

    Then if that is the case it would take a case by case examination of every release to see if it is worthy of being called literature.

    Yes, absolutely. As with films, there are certain indicators of quality that you can use to gain an idea of whether the comic will be high quality before reading it, but every comic needs to be evaluated on its own merits as to whether or not it meets the criteria to be called literature....

    You expected something else? Something easier?

    Sorry, no short-cuts here.


    Essentially we are looking at a situation very similar to what we have with movies where we've created the classification of "popcorn flick".

    Yes. I thought this was self-evident.
    That's kind of my point. It isn't possible, which is why we can't really do it with film. We're trying to measure qualitative traits.

    DasUberEdward on
  • Me Too!Me Too! __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    [QUOTE=Hooraydiation;1161077
    What do you mean by "Hobgoblin one"? Are you referring to an issue with Hobgoblin, or the entire story arc featuring Hobgoblin?

    In any case, I'd call that one a graphic novel or a portion of a graphic novel depending on what you mean.[/QUOTE]

    I mean, the whole arc. Because it builds on something that was already written, and is essentially the continuation of the story, it's not a novel. It's the next chapter OF the novel. Now, if you were to buy every single issue of USM, the entire series put together would be a graphic novel, with each arc being a chapter.

    Me Too! on
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »

    Then if that is the case it would take a case by case examination of every release to see if it is worthy of being called literature.

    Yes, absolutely. As with films, there are certain indicators of quality that you can use to gain an idea of whether the comic will be high quality before reading it, but every comic needs to be evaluated on its own merits as to whether or not it meets the criteria to be called literature....

    You expected something else? Something easier?

    Sorry, no short-cuts here.


    Essentially we are looking at a situation very similar to what we have with movies where we've created the classification of "popcorn flick".

    Yes. I thought this was self-evident.
    That's kind of my point. It isn't possible, which is why we can't really do it with film. We're trying to measure qualitative traits.

    But there are more of those indicators of quality with graphic novels. Higher production values, ease of attracting top talent (BKV can step away from his on-goings to do a GN, he can't just pick up a new serial though) and less editorial manipulation, in some cases, almost none at all.

    Regina Fong on
  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Well hold on a minute there, so if its a continuation then its not a novel? What about series of books that are multi-part, is each part not considered a novel? Only the whole?

    Balefuego on
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  • Me Too!Me Too! __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    I'm not saying that. I'm saying that I don't consider one story arc, one part of a story that's nowhere near being done, a graphic novel in and of itself. I do think that the very self-contained ones, like Reign and Dark Knight Returns, are graphic novels. Yes, they build on existing stuff, but they tell their own stories, with clear beginnings and ends, whereas at the end of the normal arc, you get, "NEXT MONTH: ULTIMATE ASSKICKING!" To me, that doesn't signify an end to anything. It shows that there's still more to go. But, it also has to do with the quality of the writing, the plot, the whole purpose of the book. Again, Reign and Dark Knight. They were written to entertain, but also to do something that wasn't just for entertainment. And wow, was Dark Knight...dark.

    Me Too! on
  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »
    jeepguy wrote: »

    Then if that is the case it would take a case by case examination of every release to see if it is worthy of being called literature.

    Yes, absolutely. As with films, there are certain indicators of quality that you can use to gain an idea of whether the comic will be high quality before reading it, but every comic needs to be evaluated on its own merits as to whether or not it meets the criteria to be called literature....

    You expected something else? Something easier?

    Sorry, no short-cuts here.


    Essentially we are looking at a situation very similar to what we have with movies where we've created the classification of "popcorn flick".

    Yes. I thought this was self-evident.
    That's kind of my point. It isn't possible, which is why we can't really do it with film. We're trying to measure qualitative traits.

    But there are more of those indicators of quality with graphic novels. Higher production values, ease of attracting top talent (BKV can step away from his on-goings to do a GN, he can't just pick up a new serial though) and less editorial manipulation, in some cases, almost none at all.
    Right. Graphic novels are comics. Not all comics are graphic novels, however a lot of them could be.

    And they are all literature in the broad sense.

    DasUberEdward on
  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I'm not saying that. I'm saying that I don't consider one story arc, one part of a story that's nowhere near being done, a graphic novel in and of itself. I do think that the very self-contained ones, like Reign and Dark Knight Returns, are graphic novels. Yes, they build on existing stuff, but they tell their own stories, with clear beginnings and ends, whereas at the end of the normal arc, you get, "NEXT MONTH: ULTIMATE ASSKICKING!" To me, that doesn't signify an end to anything. It shows that there's still more to go. But, it also has to do with the quality of the writing, the plot, the whole purpose of the book. Again, Reign and Dark Knight. They were written to entertain, but also to do something that wasn't just for entertainment. And wow, was Dark Knight...dark.

    This is what I am talking about though, to use one popular example George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, 4 books of an expected 7 have been published, but its all the same story, none of these books are complete by themselves. By your definition here the indivudual books cannot be novels, only the completed work would fit what you describe.

    Balefuego on
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