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#1 Posted by Magethor (1054 posts) - - Show Bio

Don't mind my ranting, but like right now, I'm holding AVX 11 (2012) and Dr. Strange Sorcerer Supreme #54 (1993)

It takes me about 7-10 minutes to read the entire AVX 11 issue. (that's when I put effort trying to sound like the characters in my head/ or out loud) It's 18 pages give and take a few advertisement pages. Strange SS 54 is 30 pages minus 6 advertisement pages, but reading the entire issue would take roughly bout 30/40 mins of reading.

Something about older comics is that every space counts for a text. Newer comics = every space on a page counts for graphical illustration. You'll see a lot of sentence breaks on current X-Men comics like (...I...) (...Was.... In... China...) (Now.. I'm in Washington....) (Beast won't shut up....) (I'm on the moon)

Here's another example:

This is what we get from current comics..... There's hardly anything to read only if at all.

Seriously now, how long does it take you to actually read a comic today? 5 mins? 10? How long did it take you to finish a comic 10 or 20 years ago?

#2 Posted by Mercy_ (92843 posts) - - Show Bio

If all I wanted was walls of text, I'd read a book.

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#3 Posted by TheCrowbar (4286 posts) - - Show Bio

There's the art to appreciate too. It takes me 45 minutes maybe to read a comic, I like to really examine the art work, that's half of the reason I buy them print still.(Most of the time)

#4 Posted by SC (13203 posts) - - Show Bio

Well yeah, obvs wen U have mod day writes twting dere scripts & dialogue 2 editors and etc U hav 2 sacrifice volume. Its called progress. lol C wat Bendis twted? Dat guy is hoot!

Moderator
#5 Posted by Magethor (1054 posts) - - Show Bio

Books are different though so comparing the choices of picking between the two doesn't stand the same way. Books are more 3rd person. Comics, the reader is the narrator and the character. You read the dialogues of what they speak in direct tones. Or at least that's how comics were back in the days.

Art is appreciative regardless, but the same can not be said for text if no text isn't present at all. So basically, just as you are looking at an art book, you guess or try to feel the context.... but only to find that there isn't any. Context can be taken however the way the viewer wants. That's not how it's supposed to be like in traditional comics, let alone novel books.

#6 Posted by Pyrogram (40812 posts) - - Show Bio

I do not mind , A good combo of art/text is fine, the above thing you posted is fine as it is driven by image.

#7 Posted by JohnnyGat (1573 posts) - - Show Bio

Some books are heavy on art some are heavy on text both as long as done well can tell stories. Text with words and art with the feel of a the visuals. Scott Snyder's and Greg Capullo's run in Batman for example is an example of mixing both great art with more than enough amounts of text.

In the end it's all in the style. Some scenes are easier and better interpreted through minimal text some benefit better with more.

#8 Posted by RedQueen (1171 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm kind of ashamed- It honestly takes me about 5-7 minutes to read a comic, I do generally pause to look at the art, but other than that I can steam through them quite quickly. I'm a little better on Vertigo books, and more text-heavy books, like Batman for instance, but still it's still only around 10 minutes at the most. Now, the older comics in my collection can occupy my time for anywhere between 15- 25 minutes. And generally anything written by Bendis.

#9 Posted by DarkDay (634 posts) - - Show Bio

@JohnnyGat said:

Some books are heavy on art some are heavy on text both as long as done well can tell stories. Text with words and art with the feel of a the visuals. Scott Snyder's and Greg Capullo's run in Batman for example is an example of mixing both great art with more than enough amounts of text.

In the end it's all in the style. Some scenes are easier and better interpreted through minimal text some benefit better with more.

I couldn't agree more. I've had comics and books both that are both text heavy and art rich, the thing about books that skillfully apply both of these things is that they can convey a wide variety of emotional impact and often on very different levels or even juxtaposition warring emotions in a way that defines the storyteller's intent for the overall story.

As to the OP's intent, I'd say that to me it matters less about how long it takes me to read a comic and more about how I feel during and after I've finished.

#10 Posted by End_Boss (738 posts) - - Show Bio

If you want a wordy comic, go read The Dark Knight Returns. The letters are literally crammed in between small images.

#11 Edited by TheSecondOpinion (614 posts) - - Show Bio

I think current comic's artistic side is leaning a little too far in the japanese animation. It all started during Gen X comics iirc. You're right though. I do not wish to spend $4 on something that will not occupy my time and exercise my imagination for less than 5 minutes.

#12 Posted by The_Lunact_And_Manic (3286 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mercy_ said:

If all I wanted was walls of text, I'd read a book.
#13 Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt (13400 posts) - - Show Bio

both

Online
#14 Posted by TDK_1997 (14983 posts) - - Show Bio

Old comic books take me a lot of time to read them but that sometimes is really hard for me.I prefer new comic books because they don't have so much text and look beautiful.

#15 Edited by Mucklefluga (2588 posts) - - Show Bio

@Magethor: This didn't have much text because it needed to have an emotional impact.

#16 Posted by ZEELLO (223 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm a scrub to comics but I made an observation very similar to the OP's that more dialogue = more value for money. It also occurred to me that as a medium, comics = artwork + dialogue. It's about using dialogue to "pan out" the artwork, to make the artwork "longer".

That said I do look at comics. (for one thing it is how I pick out a comic) But I appreciate being able to read them as well, not to mention it seems to me like business suicide to me to release comics without lots of dialogue.

#17 Posted by dondave (38442 posts) - - Show Bio

If all I wanted was walls of text, I'd read a book.

QFT

#18 Posted by The Stegman (25002 posts) - - Show Bio
@The_Lunact_And_Manic said:

@Mercy_ said:

If all I wanted was walls of text, I'd read a book.
#19 Posted by Twentyfive (2845 posts) - - Show Bio

Both. Otherwise, what is the artist there for?

#20 Posted by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

books are nothing alike. I do appreaciate more wordy comics but sometimes I like the opposite. I think it depends on the idea that author wants to give you. there's a time for words and there's a time for action (although this sentence isn't used in this context, I think it fits with what im trying to say)

#21 Posted by ENGLENTINE (451 posts) - - Show Bio

art gets you there story keeps you there.

Without good stories you have early Image comics.

It would not shock me to discover most people who care more for the art and broken dialogue are younger

and are used to the modern day twitter and text style of communication.

#22 Posted by MrShway88 (660 posts) - - Show Bio

@SC said:

Well yeah, obvs wen U have mod day writes twting dere scripts & dialogue 2 editors and etc U hav 2 sacrifice volume. Its called progress. lol C wat Bendis twted? Dat guy is hoot!

What?

#23 Posted by TheSecondOpinion (614 posts) - - Show Bio

@ENGLENTINE said:

art gets you there story keeps you there.

Without good stories you have early Image comics.

It would not shock me to discover most people who care more for the art and broken dialogue are younger
and are used to the modern day twitter and text style of communication.

You are absolutely correct.

#24 Posted by guttridgeb (4832 posts) - - Show Bio

It really depends on the comic. That one had little text to try and make Xavier's death more shocking (like the quiet in a movie after a major character dies). Walking Dead on the other hand has much more writing because of the simpler art.

#25 Edited by JediXMan (30902 posts) - - Show Bio

Here's the thing: I enjoy reading, but it needs to be good. Quantity =/= quality, which is the problem with older comics.

Read Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. They use a lot of text in their writing, but it's good. Older comics, unfortunately, are annoyingly cliche, featuring dialogue and useless exposition that nobody would ever say out loud.

For me, a bad artist can hurt even good writing. But if the writing is really, really good, I can overlook bad art. Good art can't fix a bad story.

Moderator
#26 Posted by CerealKiller (161 posts) - - Show Bio

A pictures worth a thousand words as they say.

I think the example the OP posted is beautifully done, and the art with simple dialogue actually adds to the drama and weight of the scene.

Part of the reason i love comics is the art, and i think these days they know how to effectively tell stories using imagery instead of just words better than past decades did.

and there was that one issue of new x-men where there was no dialogue at all, and it only told the story using the art. Loved that issue.

#27 Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio

It seems to me, that comic books are like songs...

Songs are a combination of words and music. There are some things words can express that music never could. And there are some things that music can express that words never could. A song combines the two to express something that neither could express alone...

Comic books are like that... There are some things words can express that pictures/drawings never could. There are some things that pictures/drawings express that words never could... A comic book combines the two to tell a story that neither could tell alone...

#28 Posted by Magethor (1054 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks all for replying.....

@Mucklefluga said:

@Magethor: This didn't have much text because it needed to have an emotional impact.

Emotion can be felt with both. But that's aside from the truth that the majority of the issue is just like that with hardly any text to read.

Also, what impact of medium stirs the spirit more? detailed text from a book or detailed images of a movie? 9 of 10 will agree more with a emotional impact with a book rather than a movie no matter how great the images are. When you read a comic, the still images is but an anchor of the scenery, when you read the dialogue and narration, the images follow and the still image begins to move fluently in your head as you read on. A still image alone without words to move you doesn't allow this fluid mental picture.

@ZEELLO said:

I'm a scrub to comics but I made an observation very similar to the OP's that more dialogue = more value for money. It also occurred to me that as a medium, comics = artwork + dialogue. It's about using dialogue to "pan out" the artwork, to make the artwork "longer".

That said I do look at comics. (for one thing it is how I pick out a comic) But I appreciate being able to read them as well, not to mention it seems to me like business suicide to me to release comics without lots of dialogue.

I agree and especially with that last part. If Marvel doesn't fix their stories, dialogue and historic consistency soon, they are very near to their fate of a business suicide.

@JediXMan said:

Here's the thing: I enjoy reading, but it needs to be good. Quantity =/= quality, which is the problem with older comics.

Read Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. They use a lot of text in their writing, but it's good. Older comics, unfortunately, are annoyingly cliche, featuring dialogue and useless exposition that nobody would ever say out loud.

For me, a bad artist can hurt even good writing. But if the writing is really, really good, I can overlook bad art. Good art can't fix a bad story.

I'm going to have to disagree with you on that 1st part there. Quality of an image is of the taste of the eye of the beholder. But the quality of a story is a good story to anyone who reads it that can comprehend it. Sometimes you have to read a story twice to get the whole context of the whole picture. For just a picture alone, what you see if what you get.

Older comics are believed by popular vote from this generation to have what kids believe these days as "bad art".... But they do not see the beauty of this art. But setting the art aside, the story telling is superb.

Older comics, unfortunately, are annoyingly cliche, featuring dialogue and useless exposition that nobody would ever say out loud.

One of the beauties of a comic book is pure imagination. Who cares how a character speaks; it's their character. How boring would a character be if that character resembles everything a normal real human being talks and acts like? Pretty boring now that most newer generation comics speak very modern-like mono-toned. Magneto sounds like Cyclops, Cyclopes sounds like Emma Frost, Emma Frost sounds like Wolverine. Everyone's dialogue is the same. Another thing whom @ENGLENTINE: brought up....

@ENGLENTINE said:

It would not shock me to discover most people who care more for the art and broken dialogue are younger

and are used to the modern day twitter and text style of communication.

Is true to the fact that current day comic dialogue is ---- Twitter~ish .....

@CerealKiller said:

A pictures worth a thousand words as they say.

I think the example the OP posted is beautifully done, and the art with simple dialogue actually adds to the drama and weight of the scene.

Part of the reason i love comics is the art, and i think these days they know how to effectively tell stories using imagery instead of just words better than past decades did.

and there was that one issue of new x-men where there was no dialogue at all, and it only told the story using the art. Loved that issue.

I'm not too sure about that. You can take all of the bubble texts off of 1960's - 1990's comics and you will still have a story, but the story will have no true context. Words are the ones that move a story, images are just for the eyes. How can a blind person appreciate art? Through words and the feeling of those words.

#29 Posted by JediXMan (30902 posts) - - Show Bio

@Magethor said:

@JediXMan said:

Here's the thing: I enjoy reading, but it needs to be good. Quantity =/= quality, which is the problem with older comics.

Read Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. They use a lot of text in their writing, but it's good. Older comics, unfortunately, are annoyingly cliche, featuring dialogue and useless exposition that nobody would ever say out loud.

For me, a bad artist can hurt even good writing. But if the writing is really, really good, I can overlook bad art. Good art can't fix a bad story.

I'm going to have to disagree with you on that 1st part there. Quality of an image is of the taste of the eye of the beholder. But the quality of a story is a good story to anyone who reads it that can comprehend it. Sometimes you have to read a story twice to get the whole context of the whole picture. For just a picture alone, what you see if what you get.

Older comics are believed by popular vote from this generation to have what kids believe these days as "bad art".... But they do not see the beauty of this art. But setting the art aside, the story telling is superb.

Not true. Story telling, like drawing or painting, is art. Art, by definition, is subjective. There are just different ways of interpreting and analyzing both forms, but in the end it is still subjective.

I'm not saying that old art is bad, just different - and sometimes better than newer things. I will even say that there are many great old stories out there. But many of the older comics (primarily, the Bronze and Silver Age) suffer from repetitive and cliche dialogue. The story itself may have good merits in its own right, but the presentation suffers.

Many older comics lack the ability to properly introduce a story without words that relentlessly explain everything to the reader. This is where modern art has helped - or the use of art creatively. Let's take V for Vendetta: it utilizes art to tremendous effect in that it does not have thought bubbles, sound effects, or - for the most part - explanatory dialogue to move the story along. The art and the writing come together very well. V for Vendetta predates the Modern Era, so it's less a matter of better technology than it is new ways of thinking and creating.

I blame the Comics Code for halting advances in comic book writing. I've read some good Golden Age comics. It was when comics started being taken seriously that writing styles matured.

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#30 Posted by CerealKiller (161 posts) - - Show Bio

well yeah, good points, but i still think you can get some bang for your buck when buying comics today even if it might not have as much dialogue.

#31 Edited by sagejonathan (1990 posts) - - Show Bio

@TDK_1997 said:

Old comic books take me a lot of time to read them but that sometimes is really hard for me.I prefer new comic books because they don't have so much text and look beautiful.

I'm the same. I'm reading Walter Simonson's Thor Omnibus, and as epic as the stuff he writes is, its A LOT of reading. A good quarter of the entire text is just thinking out the actions they will do or thinking the very obvious which the art can already depict. I like that modern comics aren't so text heavy and can deliver an epic story with amazing art. I spend 30-45 minutes on an average comic these days and it takes me like an hour to get through an issue of Simonson's Thor. I still enjoy it though.

#32 Posted by Kiltro95 (295 posts) - - Show Bio

I read them, to me what really makes a difference is that I honestly imagine it all like a movie and that scene where Cyclops kills Professor X what I do is basically take in the image and imagine it all animated inside my head the camera panning and cutting to each person's reaction. Another thing that really makes a difference is how memorable or how much you actually pay attention to the story, take Alan Moore's "From Hell" for example biggest frickin graphic novel I've ever read cover to cover, and I've only read it once like a year ago and I can still remember what it was about and how the story and everything connects. If the story isn't memorable why read it.

#33 Posted by AlanisMorissette (80 posts) - - Show Bio

LOL! Well art is art! But a comic book without words is a comic book finished in 5 seconds.

#34 Posted by chalkshark (1193 posts) - - Show Bio

Alright, so i took the pepsi challenge with an old comic, specifically DC Comics Presents #42, pitted against a new comic, specifically National Comics: Rose & Thorn #1. It took me 10 minutes to get through the latter, and 14 minutes to get through the former. I'd say the difference is negligible.

#35 Posted by YourNeighborhoodComicGeek (20387 posts) - - Show Bio

Actions speak better than words. Oh, I mean a picture can speak a thousand words. Dang YNCG get your quotes together.

#36 Posted by SC (13203 posts) - - Show Bio

@MrShway88 said:

@SC said:

Well yeah, obvs wen U have mod day writes twting dere scripts & dialogue 2 editors and etc U hav 2 sacrifice volume. Its called progress. lol C wat Bendis twted? Dat guy is hoot!

What?

(Wonders if is saying what to me sincerely or what to my awful joke)

Some great conversations in thread, has the whole trade paper back and collection editions been brought up? That affects decompression and consequently affects text volume. How about creator work rate? How many books they work on and the frequency of releases. I don't think that the decompressed method is inherently better or worse. Society as a whole has gotten faster, we speak faster, read faster, communicate faster, get comics and movies faster, we do more too. Right now I am downloading a PS1 game on my PS3 while reading two comics, doing a light work out and watching a movie on You Tube as I type this. I don't even have a cellphone or Ipod but if I did I would probably be using those as well too. Oh and we forget faster too. Society. Comics reading for many should be faster, and not only faster but actually filled with things we can't get elsewhere. What I mean by that is comics is no longer disposable medium, people expect set up issues, and issues that make absolutely no sense unless you pick up the following 5 issues. Contrast this to many older comics which are almost designed to be okay to read by a totally new person. That being said I don't like laziness and although many writers can be involved with their story without text (some of my favorite comics are Nuff Said issues and not only are some of them my favorite, but some I rate as comics best overall stories) at the same time sometimes I don't always want to project into a character or imagine what they are thinking. Its a demonstration of great characterization for me when I see a writer engage the reader with a very large thought bubble explaining a characters mindset - (no, I don't need comics to copy movies where thought bubbles don't pop up and thus make thought bubbles corny - pah "dialogue boxes" silly comics...)

This also sort of reminds me of threads that ask to choose between the "story" and the "art" even though story and writing aren't the same thing and some stories featuring art only can take a while to read, and or can pack as much subtlety and depth as any issue with Chris Claremont levels of dialogue. Then again some modern day stories are just ultra decompressed. Not in a way I consider good either. Whedon would be a good decompression writer (X-Men run) and he came from a background of TV and movies so not a surprise. Compare with CC who probably wanted to write novels and I have two of my favorite X-Men writers with totes diff styles yo.

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#37 Edited by Glitch_Spawn (17132 posts) - - Show Bio

Well...there is loads of text in Conan and I still love it. Then again Wood is a great writer.

But more to the point, comics aren't supposed to be overloaded with information. The art is supposed to do as much of the work as possible.

#38 Posted by Lvenger (20677 posts) - - Show Bio

@JediXMan said:

Here's the thing: I enjoy reading, but it needs to be good. Quantity =/= quality, which is the problem with older comics.

Read Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. They use a lot of text in their writing, but it's good. Older comics, unfortunately, are annoyingly cliche, featuring dialogue and useless exposition that nobody would ever say out loud.

For me, a bad artist can hurt even good writing. But if the writing is really, really good, I can overlook bad art. Good art can't fix a bad story.

Completely agree with this. Despite the fact I despise Frazer Irving's artwork with a passion, it didn't damper my enjoyment of Batman and Robin too much. Story and art have to be scored in separate categories even though they complement one another.

#39 Posted by dngn4774 (3219 posts) - - Show Bio

For me, a good read is determined to the right amount of balance between action and plot movement. For example, I can skim through a Lobdell book in under 15 minutes because it's all action and barely any plot movement but if I try to read a Grant Morrison issue in that amount of time my head would explode.

#40 Posted by briangsharon (147 posts) - - Show Bio

This is kind of an odd question a I would assume most of us (the literate anyways) do both.

To be fair however, if we are presuming this question is relevant... it should include smelling the comics as it is what I do first.

#41 Posted by JimTheSurfer (560 posts) - - Show Bio

@SC said:

Well yeah, obvs wen U have mod day writes twting dere scripts & dialogue 2 editors and etc U hav 2 sacrifice volume. Its called progress. lol C wat Bendis twted? Dat guy is hoot!

What. The. Heck.

#42 Posted by Skunkstein (591 posts) - - Show Bio

@Magethor said:

Don't mind my ranting, but like right now, I'm holding AVX 11 (2012) and Dr. Strange Sorcerer Supreme #54 (1993)

It takes me about 7-10 minutes to read the entire AVX 11 issue. (that's when I put effort trying to sound like the characters in my head/ or out loud) It's 18 pages give and take a few advertisement pages. Strange SS 54 is 30 pages minus 6 advertisement pages, but reading the entire issue would take roughly bout 30/40 mins of reading.

Something about older comics is that every space counts for a text. Newer comics = every space on a page counts for graphical illustration. You'll see a lot of sentence breaks on current X-Men comics like (...I...) (...Was.... In... China...) (Now.. I'm in Washington....) (Beast won't shut up....) (I'm on the moon)

Here's another example:

This is what we get from current comics..... There's hardly anything to read only if at all.

Seriously now, how long does it take you to actually read a comic today? 5 mins? 10? How long did it take you to finish a comic 10 or 20 years ago?

This actually makes me feel stupid because i still often have problems remembering what ive read, especially at times where i read a lot of different stories like now with all the Marvel NOW! and New 52..

#43 Posted by Manbehindthewires (344 posts) - - Show Bio

Trying to teach myself to appreciate the art. Sometimes I feel like I've read a whole book without looking at a single picture...then I come on here and realise how much of the story I missed in the artwork and have to go through it again haha

I find at the moment there's a couple of good partnerships: Bendis/Mack, Remender/Cassaday, Snyder/Capullo where the writers purposefully leave plenty of space for the artist to tell some of the story using pictures alone and pull it off really well.

#44 Posted by ReVamp (22865 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mercy_ said:

If all I wanted was walls of text, I'd read a book.

^

The right balance is required.

#45 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

I understand what OP means, but in this particular scan, the artwork just says it all. Any text here would just be redundant.

#46 Posted by TheCannon (19008 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mercy_ said:

If all I wanted was walls of text, I'd read a book.

This.

#47 Posted by AllStarSuperman (22196 posts) - - Show Bio

Depends on artists or writers. Like Supergirl has lots of wordas but I think the art kinda sucks, but in Superman the arts amazing but there's not a great deal of dialogue. Its kinda half half on super boy though

#48 Posted by akbogert (3224 posts) - - Show Bio

Quite a few different ways to answer this (pretty much all of which have been said by at least one person), though I think it really does boil down to balance, within a book, a series, and a company.

A book should have a fairly equal spread, I think. There's room for the occasional wordless page or spread (particularly in moments of high action or emotion, where callouts would probably detract from the moment), but the majority of a book should probably have a decent amount of both. If it feels like the writer or the artist is trying to carry the book alone, then probably the book isn't going well.

Likewise, if a specific issue requires heavy exposition (so, more writing) or vice-versa, that's fine, but an entire series probably shouldn't be noticeably unbalanced across its run. Except if that's the point of that particular book, which is why I say a balanced company.

Your typical Sunday morning funny papers will have Garfield, Peanuts, etc., but there are a couple highly-intellectual and/or history-driven comics which are written for an audience for which the plot is likely more important than the image. Not everyone who "reads the comics" will read, say, Doonesbury, but that comic has a devoted readership that prefers that style. I think a similar line of thinking goes for comics. There should always be a book available that caters to either the people who buy for story or the people who buy for art (and don't care about the other side much). As a gamer, I see that debate all the time between people who like story and hate combat/puzzles/difficulty, and the people who love playing and want to skip all the cutscenes. I'd say in all such cases that if people want it, it should be available, but the majority/mainstream industry should try to keep as close to the middle of the road as possible.

#49 Posted by Manbehindthewires (344 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024: That particular page was an AR feature too, so they had incentive to keep text off the page.

#50 Posted by SC (13203 posts) - - Show Bio

@JimTheSurfer said:

@SC said:

Well yeah, obvs wen U have mod day writes twting dere scripts & dialogue 2 editors and etc U hav 2 sacrifice volume. Its called progress. lol C wat Bendis twted? Dat guy is hoot!

What. The. Heck.

Ah thank you, brilliant demonstration of my point.

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