Thursday, 10 May 2012

Discussion // Comic Books.

Hey Readers!

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.


Kally said...

You really need to come to France and see all the comic books and stuff here. I might take pictures lol. It's perfectly okay here for anyone to just go into the store and sit/stand read the latest books in the series they're reading. And I always think it's so awesome to see that. In short, yes comic books count for me :)

Strange-buzz said...

I would say that they are still books, I'm not sure if I would count them on goodreads (but that is more to do with the reasons that I joined goodreads)but I think they are still books, they fit the definition, they are also 'read' (but that has a broader definition).

I don't think they should be discounted on the basis of the amount of words they contain or their length - because they are still literature - they are in book format, have words, and tell a story.

Graphic novels I have no doubt over considering them as books (even libraries and book shops count them) and on the base level comics are just graphic novels split into small parts.

But at the end of the day what they are classed as shouldn't matter and the reading of them should be encouraged as they are often the fist/only thing some kids read, and reading should not be ruled on what is classed as a book.

(sorry it's a really long comment)

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