The First Graphic Novel
Gil Kane is fondly remembered by just about no one. There are probably a thousand other comics creators who are better known. But there's one thing he deserves credit for (and rarely gets), and that is creator of the graphic novel medium.
Way back in 1971, a full 7 years before Will Eisner's A Contract with God, which is usually cited as the first graphic novel, Gil Kane convinced Bantam Books to publish a paperback novel combining comic art and text. And while it differs a bit from modern graphic novels in that the story is told more in text than in art, it is pretty clearly a descendant of both comics and novels.
The story may not be the most stellar piece of genre fiction to launch a medium - it's an adult fantasy, largely derivative of Burroughs and Howard that tells the tale of an immaculate conception to a poor tinker's wife (who bears a special black mark), and the son she bears who will grow up to become a Christ-like redeemer, the titular hero, Blackmark. It has all the usual tropes, enslaved as a child, fighting skills honed in the gladiatorial arena, etc., but it's still enjoyable in it's naive 70s post-apocalyptic way.
Sadly, the trilogy that Blackmark was supposed to spawn would never materialize. Following 'good but not good enough' sales, Blackmark was canceled after the first book, though some of the rest of the tale would later see print in the pages of Savage Sword of Conan.
A little bit of comics history worth checking out.