I am a fairly big comic book lover and practically swoon just at the mention of Spider-Man, and I know that comic books are becoming more and more popular with a wide range of audiences.
So since the release of the Marvel Graphic Novel collection, which I have avidly been collecting, i've been wondering something.
Do comic books count?
By this, I mean do they count on the same level as the books that make the reading charts each week, bestsellers etc. Personally, I add graphic novels to my ever slowing Goodreads Challenge counter but I know that some people don't. So what I want to know is: what makes a book, a book?
For me, a book is anything with a substantial amount of pages that contain a number of words.
Google defines a book as: A written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers.
That includes graphic novels, right?
I think what puts people off is the lack of words. There are some obviously but it is not quite the same. I don't know for sure, but I would assume that people disregard the artwork as just that, pictures. When as the old saying goes - a picture paints a thousand words.
Or is it because comic books are still seen as something nerdy 12 year old boys read whilst being socially awkward and avoiding girls? I am 24 years old and have read comic books or at least watched the animated versions for my whole life so I never did understand the stereotype. I do relate to the 'secrecy' issue though. I mean, it was just embarrassing to have to explain to my female friends why I had TMNT bed covers when my brothers had generic unisex ones and it is no less embarrassing as a 24 year old student who still uses Spider-Man bed covers, the only difference being that I don't care what they think now.
With the rise of Marvel films (particularly the smash hit Avengers that has just been released), will this put comic books and graphic novels in the spotlight in the reading world? Or will it always be our nerdy little secret?
What do you think about comic books and graphic novels? Should they be counted as books, or are they pictures that have captions? I'd love to know what you think.