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  #1  
Old 04-02-2009, 06:17 AM
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Default Are Comic Books Literature?

This has been a long lasting debate so I thought I'd see what folks here thought.

THE BEAT » Blog Archive » Are comics literature?
Graphic novel viewed as contemporary literature, professor says - Columbia Missourian
San Francisco News - The Difference Between Comics and Literature - page 1 (weird but goes into the legal issues of calling comics literature, specifically paying taxes on them.)
Hugo Awards add Graphic Novel Category - ComicMix news
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2009, 08:15 AM
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What do you mean by "literature?"
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  #3  
Old 04-02-2009, 08:22 AM
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I think it depends... They are a visual medium, yes, but sometimes they can be very story-driven and character-driven. I will say 'yes' for now. As far as quality of literature, it tends to fall somewhere above manga and below young adult literature.
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  #4  
Old 04-02-2009, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm View Post
What do you mean by "literature?"
Well, that is part of the debate. Those who argue one way or the other often are debating different definitions of the term literature. So to answer the OP question you first have to define your own meaning of literature and then see if comic books fit into that definition.
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  #5  
Old 04-26-2009, 07:15 PM
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Sure they can be,

My critasism of comic books is that it seems like the charecters, especialy the villains are one sided. You, as the reader, have no motavation to see them as anything other than evil. No one is compleatly evil, and sometimes comic villians are not deep enough.

(sometimes they are, I am sure anyone who is a real comic book reader will be able to pull out a thousand examples contradicting what I said.)

Delilah
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2009, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delilah Roo View Post
Sure they can be,

My critasism of comic books is that it seems like the charecters, especialy the villains are one sided. You, as the reader, have no motavation to see them as anything other than evil. No one is compleatly evil, and sometimes comic villians are not deep enough.

(sometimes they are, I am sure anyone who is a real comic book reader will be able to pull out a thousand examples contradicting what I said.)

Delilah
Well, maybe not a thousand, but I'm sure that I can come up with a few.

Watchmen by Alan Moore is probably the most famous "shades of gray" example in the comic book medium, and I'd say deservedly so.

Preacher by Garth Ennis makes no bones about a split between good and evil, but his ideas on who qualifies as such can be unexpected, and blasphemously enjoyable.

The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller manages to imbue some of the most famous characters of all time with moral ambiguity.

Miracleman by Alan Moore is one of the earliest deconstructions of the superhero genre that I can recall, and is a violent meditation on power, society, and responsibility.

Of course, that's just in the superhero genre. Once you start getting into the works of Spiegelman, Pekar, R. Crumb et al, all bets are off.
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:58 PM
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Of course they are. Anyone who says otherwise is just being a snotty, foppish twit. QED.
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trey of Diamonds View Post
This has been a long lasting debate so I thought I'd see what folks here thought.

THE BEAT » Blog Archive » Are comics literature?
Graphic novel viewed as contemporary literature, professor says - Columbia Missourian
San Francisco News - The Difference Between Comics and Literature - page 1 (weird but goes into the legal issues of calling comics literature, specifically paying taxes on them.)
Hugo Awards add Graphic Novel Category - ComicMix news
When Maus can win a Pulitzer Prize (and was an excellent graphic novel), then I say yes, regardless of how you wish to define "litereature".
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  #9  
Old 04-26-2009, 08:03 PM
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Friend Trey of Diamonds,

Quote:
Are Comic Books Literature?
Wondering why we did not study *comics* in literature classes?

Love & rgds
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  #10  
Old 04-26-2009, 08:04 PM
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Yes - they are.
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