Are comics literature?

I've heard people off and on talk about whether or not we should consider comics literature, or more common, whether some comics qualify as literature while others do not. Usually people welcome in titanic classics like Watchmen and the Extraordinary League of Gentlemen (which does, after all, use British literary characters) into the realm of literature, but keep out volumes like Final Crisis or even the Ultimates.  Although I thought Watchmen was spectacular, I'm still weary of the argument that some comics may be elevated while others may not.  Simply because these stories are accompanied by pictures is no reason to assume that the art-form is inferior, nor that only a portion of it escapes inferiority.  The best way to approach this question is not to fractionalize the comic universe, but instead, to succinctly ask if all of the comic realm actually is literature (whether  good or bad lit), or if it is something different entirely.
 
 We consider many movies, which simultaneously use pictures and dialogue,  to have a great artistic prestige and celebrate their success hand over fist, yet comics don't seem to receive the same respect.  Sometimes, comic book characters, like Batman, make it to the silver screen and now the movie already rests comfortably on its laurels, yet the batman comics (although likely more popular than before) seem to have gained no more literary respect.  Robert Bloch, in his introduction to Magnolia's Hellboy: Seeds of Destruction claims that Hellboy and more and more like it now gracefully work with a "deliberately satirized awareness of classical modes and content" and then reports this is, "the product of superb talents."  Bloch understands that the comics are grounded in an instinct to entertain, but he also believes that in that entertainment comes complicated, intriguing, and demanding messages which have too often been thrown aside as "sleazy vehicles of violence" (Bloch).  Bloch sees this partially as a problem evolving out of comic book history where the original stories so severely lacked depth that they gained a permanent bad name for what is now evolving into really savvy story-telling.  But despite this evolution, should comics be welcomed into the realm of literature and be part of what we understand as high-caliber  writing and story telling? 
 
As Bloch insinuates, the problem must be the pictures.  He received great praise on his work The Scarf from an avid comic critic despite that Bloch's own novel perpetrated "murder and mayhem" equal to or beyond what we see in comics today (Bloch).  It seems readers may be more willing to encounter a knife to the gut carried along the whims of wanton words, but when the knife is painted before their eyes it becomes crude and distateful.  But should a weak stomach really be a reason to take away the level of art?  And must readers really be forced to work for every description?  Comic books offer something much more immediate than other forms of writing because of the accompanied picture, but as Bloch would agree, they also offer a more interesting angle at satire and irony since the pictures and text can offer different ideas concurrently.  So, let's say the author wants to show us the narrator is either in denial or is delusional.  The opening lines could read, "I had a very happy childhood" and the image could show his father slapping him and his mother crying.  A piece of only words can accomplish the same thing, but the pace must be slower so the effect might be less shocking and the emotional effect deadened.  Additionally, who's to say that every novel deserves great praise?  
 
When I think of popular fiction, three authors immediately come to mind: Stephen King, Stephanie Meyer, and J.K. Rowling.  All of these authors are extremely popular, but arguably King and Rowling are on a completely different level than Meyer.   Even though Twilight has an indisputable popularity among teenagers right now, surely a great deal of comics have better story lines, character development, dialogue, meaning, use of metaphor, message, etc . . .  King believes Meyer is a flash in the pan and won't last the ages, an argument that went viral a year or so ago.  Whether or not he's right, the question is this: do we accept her level of writing as literature now?  Because if we do, surely a great number of comics give us a better story at most every angle and ask important questions about our concept of heroism and desire to help, hurt, or sway others to help us with our problems or our bidding.  But Meyer is only one author and shouldn't stand as  the sole reason to invite comics into lit.  The readers and the writers of these comics must ultimately make that decision. 
 
Comics like Watchmen, which already are prevalent in college and high school classrooms, do inspire the possibility of more and more comics coming into a more respectful stature, but ultimately the demands of the readers must be met.  If we readers ask for the challenging material, there are capable writers ready and waiting (and many already producing great art).  Even if the story is grandiose, writers must also focus on the scientific, the awesome, and the meaningful found in great stories like Final Crisis, and stay away from immature and poor judgement calls like Spider-Man: One more day.  It is in this charge that comics have the possibility to gain the respect they deserve and finally answer the question: yes, comics are literature.

40 Comments
40 Comments
Posted by MzombieX

I would have to say that comics should be considered "literature" beyond a doubt. 
 
They are modern mythology that has, in a sense, taken place of all great storytelling from when mankind first began to try and make sense of the world around him, through religion and folklore.  
The imagery of a comic book story, as told by the artists, is no different than the imagery that would have been painted on cave walls, or drawn in the sand, or even much different than the visual stories that are told in theatre or through the expression of dance. This is a tool used to move the story along and to engage the audience. Yet that isn't to say that these stories do not stand on their own.

Often these characters reflect the issues and moral structure of our culture and the world we live in. 
They question our boundries of Good and Evil and the shades of grey that lie between. 

Characters such as  Wonder Woman and the impact she has had on the women's movement, as a symbol, from the time the comic was released and through the progression it has taken over the years. 
Political ideology, on a global scale, that is and has always been reflected in the books of Captain America. 
The X-Men and the morality play of those on the fringe of society and those who would seek to gain acceptance. Our fear of the unkown and the measure of our cruelty when we seek to detroy that which we don't understand.
What risks do we take, if mankind abuses technological advancement, in our quest to control and shape the world around us? Are we playing God? 
How far have we truly come from our primitive or uncivilized past? What dark or violent thoughts live within us all in the deep recesses of our mind?  
Are we a product of our environment? ... These are questions posed by writers such as Mary Shelley and is still being asked and explored in literature such as The Hulk. 
 
Tales of Gods from Greek and Norse origin, for example, were used to teach moral ethics from generation to generation. Often, along with their great divinity, these Gods were also fallible and their struggle mirrored the, very real, struggles of man.  
If the Iliad and Odyssey are literature then so are comics. "With great power comes great responsibility" and no one can deny the impact that this seemingly simple and yet very powerful quote has had on many a generation of readers. There is a reason that quote is so recognizable. It is because it comes from the pages of great literature that we all can relate to. Literature that has withstood the test of time. Literature that tests us on an emotional as well as an intellectual scale. That teaches us the value of  the choices we make in our lives and asks of us to be heroes ourselves. Literature that can be found, like Spider-Man, in the pages of ... a comic book.
Posted by CylonDorado

There was a Graphic Literature section in my last Literature textbook, so sure.
Posted by Jotham
@CylonDorado said:
" There was a Graphic Literature section in my last Literature textbook, so sure. "
Well, there we go. Discussion over.
Posted by Doctor!!!!!

Thats what I convince myself everyday.

Posted by emerald_lamp_2814

yes

Posted by burningmidnight

Yes, comics are indeed literature. Maus: A Survivor's Tale won a Pulitzers.Calvin and Hobbes is honored by many writers. 

Posted by OrionStarlancer
@Doctor!!!!!: HAhaha.  That's how I feel walking down the aisles at Half Price Books and going straight for the comic section.  I've always come straight from teaching English so I'm humored by the idea of a student walking in and finding me there.  Right now my break from reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace is the Annihilation graphic novels. It's a nice respite from Wallace's rambling genius prose.
Posted by OrionStarlancer
@CylonDorado: I would be interested to hear just which lit book that was and what stories were actually featured in there.
Edited by CylonDorado
@OrionStarlancer:
Lol, I literally just sold it back to the store today. All I remember is that it had a story about an abusive dad, and one about the opressive customs of fundimentalist muslums.
Posted by spider-pig23
@Doctor!!!!! said:
" Thats what I convince myself everyday. "
Posted by Thor's hammmer

without a doubt
Posted by asafager

Two things:  

1 - By bringing up this discussion, you bring up the age old questions: What is Art? How does one go about defining Art? What isn't Art? And so on. Comics have always been a medium that reflects current events. Some more obviously than others. And one could always argue that this mirror (warped or no) is the whole purpose of art as a cultural institution. Literature, film, etc have always taken the world around us and handed it back to us in a more interesting or more challenging way. Comics have been doing this since the dawn of the medium and continue to do so today. 
Every new generation of artists faces a wall of contempt from the previous pack, implying that their new and strange ideas could never be considered Art by classical standards. Dadaism was founded strictly as a way to mock this institutional snobbery. It's what gives new genres the strength to stand on their own. 
Whether people respect them or not, comicbooks are a cultural institution. One that has clearly stood the test of time. Whenever anyone mocks me for liking them, I point out that Superman has been successfully selling books for nearly 75 years. Find me anything else in American popular culture that even holds a candle to figures like that. 

2 - Has anyone read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay? It is a brilliant book about the cultural history of comicbooks and the kids who created them back in the 40s. While it is a novel, the information about the world that exists in the book is surprisingly well researched. Not to mention the book is beautifully written. But, one could argue, that the entire book is really just a version of this exact discussion. 
There are a few other books worth reading about the culture of comicbooks. Men of Tomorrow by Gerard Jones, a history of the medium, specifically focused on Superman. And The Ten Cent Plague by David Hajdu, about the political purges (yeah, purges) of the comicbook industry. 
All three of these books are awesome and worth reading if you're interested in this kind of stuff. 
 
3 - (yeah i know i said two things, fuck you) Who gives a shit? Since when did we need the approval of anyone else? We spend our blood, sweat, tears, and money (oh so much money) on these books because they're awesome. Not because we expect some kind of recognition. Would Batman punch harder if Salman Rushdie said he approved? Would Spider-man save the day even harder if he got a good review in the New Yorker? Would Robert Kirkman write better zombie stories if he won a Pulitzer? This medium is ours because we love it. And we don't need anybody to tell us otherwise. 
 
So there.

Posted by OrionStarlancer
@asafager said:  Whenever anyone mocks me for liking them, I point out that Superman has been successfully selling books for nearly 75 years. Find me anything else in American popular culture that even holds a candle to figures like that.   
 
Instead of just anything in American popular culture, I found you other pieces of literature in order to make a more fair comparison. 
 
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald  (1925) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne  (1850) Rip Van Winkle  by Washington Irving  (1819) Sleepy Hollow (1820)  also Irving, The Raven by   Edgar Allen Poe (1845), Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Walden, or Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau (1854), Moby Dick by Herman Melville (1851).  
 
  Some of these stories are almost 200 years old and yes, all are very popular and well known.  Is that a big enough candle for you?

Posted by texasdeathmatch

Ugh this just looks like a class discussion

Posted by TheShame

I always think of it as an art form when considering the amount of work that goes into each comic book, discounting the annoying ass adverts.

Posted by mice elf

I disagree that comics are literature. That is not to say that comics are not art; rather that they are their own form of art. Literature is something altogether different. 
 
Comics as an art form relies on the marriage of art and script. There are scattered examples of influential writer/artists but not enough for that to be a defining trend. Compare this to literature - the literary arts - which is populated by textual works that are the endeavour of the individual alone. A novel unillustrated must rely upon form, structure, diction, allegory, characters and dialogue in a way that is purely textual. A comic can depict a pivotal moment in a stark illustration, whereas a novel must approach these events in an entirely different manner. 
  
That is not to say that the affects are any less valid. Movies are - as an example -  not a lesser art form for being different to literature. It's just different. 
   
Comics ought to celebrate what it is that makes the artform unique. The best recent example I can think of this is in the opening chase in Batman and Robin 1 where  frank quietly draws the BOOMPOW sound effects into the explosions. It brings back the exuberance of the golden age of Batman whilst complementing the contemporary action. No other art form has that kind of device - celebrate it, indulge in it. And if that's not for you maybe celebrate the violent comics, the fairytale ones or the alpha-male slugfest rags. It is all good and it all part of the artform. 
 
Ultimately it is not worth comparing comics to another artform. All kinds of art are different and that is what makes them unique and worth appreciating. The true value comes in digging the things you love about comics and pursuing that interest. 

Posted by PowerHerc

Yes.  Some snobs and ignoramus's may not think so, but that doesn't change the fact.
Edited by AgentOrange

Hey they teach Stand up comedy and science fiction in Universities so why not!!
Religion started they same way  

Gods battling each other over women with magic swords, and what not throwing lightning bolts and apparently gods turning into golden showers to entice young maidens
I shit you not!!  Look Zeus up dudes a freak
 
So if historical Books about Greek gods and champions fighting monsters with magic curse's and super powers  can be considered literature  therefore My Lord I submit Homers Iliad before the court as proof that the style of writing for comic books have existed for thousands of years 
 
ironically this is fact not fiction,,,

Posted by hydrabob

yes they are but are not recognized as such

Posted by lastdrag0n89
@mice elf said:

" I disagree that comics are literature. That is not to say that comics are not art; rather that they are their own form of art. Literature is something altogether different.  Comics as an art form relies on the marriage of art and script. There are scattered examples of influential writer/artists but not enough for that to be a defining trend. Compare this to literature - the literary arts - which is populated by textual works that are the endeavour of the individual alone. A novel unillustrated must rely upon form, structure, diction, allegory, characters and dialogue in a way that is purely textual. A comic can depict a pivotal moment in a stark illustration, whereas a novel must approach these events in an entirely different manner.   That is not to say that the affects are any less valid. Movies are - as an example -  not a lesser art form for being different to literature. It's just different.    Comics ought to celebrate what it is that makes the artform unique. The best recent example I can think of this is in the opening chase in Batman and Robin 1 where  frank quietly draws the BOOMPOW sound effects into the explosions. It brings back the exuberance of the golden age of Batman whilst complementing the contemporary action. No other art form has that kind of device - celebrate it, indulge in it. And if that's not for you maybe celebrate the violent comics, the fairytale ones or the alpha-male slugfest rags. It is all good and it all part of the artform.  Ultimately it is not worth comparing comics to another artform. All kinds of art are different and that is what makes them unique and worth appreciating. The true value comes in digging the things you love about comics and pursuing that interest.  "

 Literature: People sometimes differentiate between "literature" and some popular forms of written work. The terms " literary fiction" and " literary merit" serve to distinguish between individual works. Critics may exclude works from the classification "literature," for example, on the grounds of bad grammar or syntax, unbelievable or disjointed story, or inconsistent characterization. Sometimes, a work may be excluded based on its prevailing subject or theme: genre fiction such as romances, crime fiction, (mystery), science fiction, horror or fantasy have all been excluded at one time or another from the literary pantheon, and depending on the dominant mode, may or may not come back into vogue. 
 
Now tell me how comic books do not fit in to that category?
Posted by .o0Johnny0o.
@mice elf said:
" Movies are - as an example -  not a lesser art form for being different to literature. It's just different. Comics ought to celebrate what it is that makes the artform unique.  "
I concur.
 
I know there's a need to defend comics as a legitimate medium of art rather than 'the funnies' or capes and spandex. People who genuinely love the medium are quick to respond with "It's literature!" in a way which I think is unnecessary.  Why are we so keen to even defend it as literature? I've read some horrible literature.  Enjoy the fact that this medium's blend is different, distinct and delightfully so.  Revel in the art work. Submerge yourself in splash pages. Ordain oneself in onomatopoeia.
 
It's frustrating because to a lot of people, when you say you read comics, simply hear the words "I read a childish picture book about people in capes and tights" While this is certainly true to some extent it's akin to, when hearing someone watches a lot of movies, responding with "Oh so you watch romantic comedies?" Or if someone says "I read literature" another assumes "Ah, Dan Brown novels then?" "Music you say?  So do you prefer the Beatles or Mozart?"  I'm not trying to put down the capes, we know the bad reputation of comes from the CCA guidelines which stifled creativity and left no room to be edgy or thought provoking.
 
I'm happy for comics to be comics.  There's no need, reason, rhyme or point to justify it by trying to squeeze it into an already established category.  Justify it, instead, with examples of comics you've read and found great. Especially those that don't conform to someones idea of capes and cataclsymic catastrophe.  I always hold up Maus (history), I Killed Adolf Hitler(hell, when you think about it Rom-Com), The Walking Dead(horror), Fables(fantasy), Sin City (crime/thriller) or Alan Moore ( everything) as just a few stalwarts of excellence.
 
In the same way a painting can make you think, a film can make you scared, video game make you laugh or a novel make you cry; a comic book can open up worlds you never could have thought of yourself.   Therein lies the legitimacy of comics as a seperate category.
 
I don't need this faux-approval of critics from the other mediums or those who've never read a comic. I don't need to insist on calling it a 'Graphic Novel' every time because it sounds more adult.  And I certainly don't need to legitimise a love for approval of others.  So can we drop this need for approval? Strangely those trying to make it look more adult to the outside are the ones acting childish whining, 'Nuh, uh! It's not a comic, it's a graphic novel!' to others whose preconceptions are in fact the only childish thing about the whole debate.
 
Let comics be comics!
Posted by mice elf
@lastdrag0n89: 
 
You say that certain forms of fiction are denied the classification 'literature' due to a deficiency in artistic merit. Fair enough, but I'd say you have missed my argument as to why comics are not literature. That is, they are two distinct forms and should be appreciated as such.
 
The reason that the works you described cannot be described as 'literary works' is that they do not compare favorably to the high standards set by the leading works in each genre. A chick-lit romance novel cannot hope to match the poise and grace of a Victorian Romantic novel, whereas a cheap thriller or detective story cannot compete with a Chandler novel. The cheap literature is denied the classification of literature purely because it does not compare to the standards of leading literary fiction.
 
Comics books use devices and techniques that are incomparable to that of standard written fiction and therefore should be appreciated on their own merits and based upon their own collective history. Consider the following points:
 
Art/Direction: A comic book is defined, inevitably, by its art. That is not to diminish the writer one bit. There are excellent writers in comics that can transcend the limitations of a poor artist. But the vast majority do not fit that category and instead depend on a marriage of art and words. Compare that to the novellist who has words alone. The effect of art on the reader is undeniable. This is not possible in literary fiction and therefore provides a big distinction between the two.
 
Collaboration/Editing/Corporate Structure: Comics are at their core the result of collaboration. Yes there are many examples of singular talents, but only the most pedantic fool in the world would deny the importance of a great collaborative team. At the big publishers - which lest we forget still produce some of the best comics out there - there will be tremendous amounts of red tape and blockages to creativity. The lone writer creates a world and characters of their choosing. Neither one is superior to the other. Neither is preffered. Rather they are two distinct forms of art that should be appreciated by the recognition of the tools of each's craft.
 
Timelines: Comics are a young art form. Although there are scattered examples in cinema such as Citizen Kane, the medium of film has only come into its own since the 1970s and only recently has a vibrant critical discourse emerged. Comics are entering that phase. The works of Frank Miller and Alan Moore (and a whole group of other influential writers and artists) are gaining traction in the minds of the leading voices in the arts. Think about it - people that grew up in the 80s and read those comics are now in positions of power and influence. This will only increase with time and the result will be a wider appreciation of comics as its own art form. 
 
Crucially, once comics are accepted as their own valid medium by the mainstream, comic readers won't feel the need to compare their interest to literature. They are two different things. Love the things that makes comics great and enjoy them and appreciate them on their own merits. They are not poetry or the next Great American Novel. They are comics and readers out to be proud of that and celebrate it,
Posted by lastdrag0n89
@mice elf: 
I understand completely what you are saying. This discussion I actually used in my Public speaking class. I see where your point is in saying that comics arent something studied in colleges but consider some comics that can be. For instance im pretty sure you can teach an entire course on Watchmen. I'm not saying that all comics can be literature like how many books cannot (definitely not Twilight). But just because they are not all literature worthy doesn't mean that some are worthy. So my point is just because the world or the media haven't recognized them as an art form doesn't mean that they don't qualify.
Posted by InnerVenom123

Yes.

Posted by turoksonofstone
@Jotham said:
" @CylonDorado said:
" There was a Graphic Literature section in my last Literature textbook, so sure. "
Well, there we go. Discussion over. "
Posted by MrDirector786

After reading through this thread, I personally think it's not literature but its own thing. It doesn't have to be literature to be considered good as there is bad literature out there. Movies, video games, comics, and literature are all their own thing. It may be looked down on by ignoramus's as being childish, but there are lots of adults who also play video games. And all those people who think comics and video games are childish have most likely never read a comic or played any video games in recent years as there are many of both with lots of material that would be considered inappropriate for children.

Posted by mice elf
@turoksonofstone said:
" @Jotham said:
" @CylonDorado said:
" There was a Graphic Literature section in my last Literature textbook, so sure. "
Well, there we go. Discussion over. "
"
What? Cos someone wrote a text book? Well hooray for them, but just because they said it doesnt mean it's true. Text books do not have a defacto hold over intellectual debate or truth. Think with your own mind, not someone else's.
Posted by turoksonofstone
@mice elf:
Posted by turoksonofstone
@mice elf said:

" I disagree that comics are literature. That is not to say that comics are not art; rather that they are their own form of art. Literature is something altogether different.  Comics as an art form relies on the marriage of art and script. There are scattered examples of influential writer/artists but not enough for that to be a defining trend. Compare this to literature - the literary arts - which is populated by textual works that are the endeavour of the individual alone. A novel unillustrated must rely upon form, structure, diction, allegory, characters and dialogue in a way that is purely textual. A comic can depict a pivotal moment in a stark illustration, whereas a novel must approach these events in an entirely different manner.   That is not to say that the affects are any less valid. Movies are - as an example -  not a lesser art form for being different to literature. It's just different.    Comics ought to celebrate what it is that makes the artform unique. The best recent example I can think of this is in the opening chase in Batman and Robin 1 where  frank quietly draws the BOOMPOW sound effects into the explosions. It brings back the exuberance of the golden age of Batman whilst complementing the contemporary action. No other art form has that kind of device - celebrate it, indulge in it. And if that's not for you maybe celebrate the violent comics, the fairytale ones or the alpha-male slugfest rags. It is all good and it all part of the artform.  Ultimately it is not worth comparing comics to another artform. All kinds of art are different and that is what makes them unique and worth appreciating. The true value comes in digging the things you love about comics and pursuing that interest.  "

This sounds more like an argument in favor of comics as literature, the points you make illustrate how the Comic Book or graphic novel is superior in conveying thoughts and Ideas when compared to traditional prose. Plenty of Writer/Artists exist.   
"A novel unillustrated must rely upon form, structure, diction, allegory, characters and dialogue in a way that is purely textual." this is a limitation most writers cannot overcome
Sequential Art which is what comics are in their root form has a history going all the way back to ancient Egypt. Comics and Graphic Novels have won many literary awards and are by and large part of mainstream literature at this point.
Comics are indeed literature.
Posted by OrionStarlancer
@mice elf: As someone who's taken a lot of English classes, I would have to agree that the decisions towards what goes into anthologies can be troubling at times and perhaps speaks more about the opinions of the editors than of population of scholars and readers as a whole.  It's actually a widely debated subject on its own and the contents of the anthologies absolutely should not limit our understandings of what is good writing. That said, it is interesting that a literature anthology would include a "graphic literature" section.  I wonder what this means.  Are more scholars recognizing the potential in comics or are they stooping to try to meet popular demands in order to interest a broader base of readers?  Or is it something else? 
 
On that note, Mice Elf, I've really enjoyed what you, lastdragon89,  o0Johnny0o, and several others have contributed to this discussion.  All of your opinions are thorough, respectful, and well developed.  I'll have my own better developed response to some of what you've all said soon.  In the mean time, please keep it up.
Posted by Primmaster64
@emerald lamp 2814 said:
" yes "
Posted by Jotham
@mice elf said:
" @turoksonofstone said:
" @Jotham said:
" @CylonDorado said:
" There was a Graphic Literature section in my last Literature textbook, so sure. "
Well, there we go. Discussion over. "
"
What? Cos someone wrote a text book? Well hooray for them, but just because they said it doesnt mean it's true. Text books do not have a defacto hold over intellectual debate or truth. Think with your own mind, not someone else's. "
No, I'm sorry friend, but text books are the final arbiters of truth. Even if they contradict each other.
Posted by OrionStarlancer
@lastdrag0n89: I actually remember taking a course in college that did use Watchmen as one of its texts.  I think why Watchmen deserves such merit is because it so clearly has a number of intricate and beautiful layers that deserve examining and poses important questions about our own contextual senses of heroism, godliness, and moral relativism.  I think Mice Elf is right to point out that in a very physical way comics are different than literature because both the presentation and process is different, but I really appreciate your explanation of literature and I think it is much better than what I've done in my blog here so thanks for helping clarify. 
 
Perhaps I should have posed the question this way:  Are comics capable of creating intellectual art worth scholarly discussion?  I think Mice Elf would point out this all sounds very silly and pedantic, and perhaps he's right, but using pieces of writing specifically like Watchmen or Final Crisis, we can discuss intricate, wonderful, and deep messages. 
 
Ultimately the labeling, as o0Johnny0o discusses, is probably pointless and whether or not literature and comics share similar labels may be meaningless.   What does matter, however, is whether or not comics are a powerful tool for critical thinking and examining society in a clever and complicated way.  If I understand correctly, you think in several cases comic writing can do exactly that. I'd like to know more about the speech you gave too.
Posted by OrionStarlancer
@turoksonofstone: Where do people find all these fantastic pictures?  lol.  That's great.
Posted by mice elf
@turoksonofstone said:
" @mice elf:
"
Dont tempt me! The missus is going away tomorrow so I'll have a whole evening to spend debating this stuff!
Posted by lastdrag0n89
@OrionStarlancer: 
In my speech I pointed out many things. My main focus was the characters and concepts in Comics. Many who read notice the symbolism in comics and how it is mainly deep rooted in American history. The most popular heroes that I call "Icons" each represent a different faction of American style of Life and mentality. Lets say figuratively that an alien were to visit the earth. If he chose to study comics and their evolution he would be very able to understand our mentalities and traits through them. Reading Iron man he would easily grasp the cold war, and reading the early years of Captian America he could get a sense of the patriotism displayed through out WWII. My point is that  Comic books and there characters are so deep rooted into our history that they actually mean so much and have been around for so long that it makes no sense not to see them as literature.
Posted by turoksonofstone
@mice elf said:
" @turoksonofstone said:
" @mice elf:
"
Dont tempt me! The missus is going away tomorrow so I'll have a whole evening to spend debating this stuff! "

Edited by Emerald Dragonfly

I don't care whether comics are literature or not. All I know is that some comics may be much better than some literature.  
For example, in school you have to read a lot of stories about different people, but are these stories really valuable? Are these people you have to read about really may be taken as examples? Can they really teach you? Bruce Wayne is much more deep and noble that any character from classic literature! I'm tired of reading about people whose phylosophy or even a whole life don't make sense! In comics I may find a story that can really touch my soul, I see principles of The Greatest, Real Heroes and I learn them, as they are simple and inexorably straight! So while reading some amazingly boring story that is considered as classics on a world level I can't gain anything helpful or valuable! And that happens so often that I even stopped to read it and got even deeper in comics! So I never care what some people say - they got their life dedicated to characters whose lives don't make sense, to their problems and meaningless existing (that is of coooourse full of symbolism or sense... In their opinion) and they don't know comics as well as me and have no right to say that "Comics are for children, be a man, read some classics about realistic fat philisophers and aesthetes". But I tried to read both of their and mine. And I made my choice.

Posted by turoksonofstone












Posted by Do I have to give a name?
@mice elf said:
" I disagree that comics are literature. That is not to say that comics are not art; rather that they are their own form of art. Literature is something altogether different.  Comics as an art form relies on the marriage of art and script. There are scattered examples of influential writer/artists but not enough for that to be a defining trend. Compare this to literature - the literary arts - which is populated by textual works that are the endeavour of the individual alone. A novel unillustrated must rely upon form, structure, diction, allegory, characters and dialogue in a way that is purely textual. A comic can depict a pivotal moment in a stark illustration, whereas a novel must approach these events in an entirely different manner."
I was going to come in here and post that comics are both literature and art, then I read this. Touche sir.