Books versus Comics

Bass

Nexus of the World
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
14,167
Location
Folkestone, UK
Something that annoys me - people call comics, a lot of the time - even Alan Moore - people call comics "Books". I understand it's an abbreviation from "Comic Book", but I really dislike it. I consciously try to call them "comics", and "title" or "series", but avoid ever calling them books.

Anyone else feel this way?
 

Bass

Nexus of the World
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
14,167
Location
Folkestone, UK
Ice said:
Nope.

Very nitpicky of you. :)

It is. But I have this big chip on my shoulder of how writers are perceived. There's a hierarchy that goes like this -

The Novelist - Writer of Books (a "real" writer because it's all 'him')

The Playwright - Writer of Theatre (a "proper" writer, because Shakespeare was a playwright)







The Screenwriter - Writer of Films (not a real writer, but we like the glamour, celebrity, and money involved so we give some respect to this person that is no doubt, shallow and sleeping with cocaine-addicted whores in Hollywood)















































The Comic Writer - The Writer of Comics (doesn't count as a writer because anyone can do it because it's for kids)


So this pisses me off on a daily basis.
 

ProjectX2

Don't expect me to take you with me when I go to s
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Messages
25,007
It's all how you interpret stuff.
 

Synch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2004
Messages
763
Location
Miami, FL
Bass said:
The Comic Writer - The Writer of Comics (doesn't count as a writer because anyone can do it because it's for kids)
So are some books and plays, but anyway...

I've think we've seen time and time again the difference between someone being able to do something and someone being able to do something well. I've read books by prominent comic book writers who have also written very good books (Peter David, Stan Lee, Reginald Hudlin, Eric Jerome Dickey (I love his stuff) etc. ) I think if you can write you can write just about anything, at least that is what my reading experiences have lead me to believe. That's a pretty elitist viewpoint you've devoloped there buddy I think it could do well to be enlightened a little bit. Also I'd like to add that I'm one of those people who call comics "books" and I think the term is highly appropriate.
 

E

Moderator
Excelsior Club
Joined
May 17, 2004
Messages
33,346
Location
MI
Bass said:
The Comic Writer - The Writer of Comics (doesn't count as a writer because anyone can do it because it's for kids)

But not all comics are for kids (in fact I'd say most aren't), and writers like Moore and Ellis deserve better than that.

But I do see your point.

For what it's worth, the US Post office doesn't consider comics books; at least not the issues. They are periodicals.
 

Synch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2004
Messages
763
Location
Miami, FL
E said:
But not all comics are for kids (in fact I'd say most aren't),
Took the words right out of my mouth. There are alot of comic books that I don't want any of my baby cousins reading. They are just to "Grown Up."
 

Bass

Nexus of the World
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
14,167
Location
Folkestone, UK
I know. I've had a 12-year old girl tell me comics are for kids, and pointed out that she wouldn't be allowed to read 100 Bullets.

My point is this heirarchy exists, and it's bull****. A writer is a writer. The quality of them is not linked to their medium. There are tons of novelists who are as ****e as any ****ty comic writer. It's just a pretentious, and political elitism of art and I hate it.
 

Synch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2004
Messages
763
Location
Miami, FL
Bass said:
I know. I've had a 12-year old girl tell me comics are for kids, and pointed out that she wouldn't be allowed to read 100 Bullets.

My point is this heirarchy exists, and it's bull****. A writer is a writer. The quality of them is not linked to their medium. There are tons of novelists who are as ****e as any ****ty comic writer. It's just a pretentious, and political elitism of art and I hate it.
Oh, I thought you were supporting it.
 

Bass

Nexus of the World
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
14,167
Location
Folkestone, UK
:shock:

You people don't know me at all.

I started this thread because this is why I don't like calling comics "books", as it reinforces the nonsense that a book is a higher form of art than the comic.
 

UltimateSpiderBuggy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2006
Messages
120
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Bass said:
:shock:

You people don't know me at all.

I started this thread because this is why I don't like calling comics "books", as it reinforces the nonsense that a book is a higher form of art than the comic.
Indeed! Major miscommunication here. I totally agree with your interpretation about the elitist BS of comics being considered lower (I always get weird looks on the bus), although I don't mind them being called books myself. I see your point and it is a good one however.
 

moonmaster

Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
Joined
Feb 23, 2005
Messages
13,670
I use both "comic" and "book", but I think I use "book" in a different way then if I was talking about a normal book. Example: If I just read a novel, I'd say "I read that book" (in past tense) while if I'm currently picking up a comic, I'd say "I read that book" (in present tense). I suppose it depends on who you're talking to. Most comic fans would know what you're talking about, but someone who doesn't read comics might not understand.

The term I really try to avoid is "graphic novel". A graphic novel is a comic that is published in full, book form at one time. Most comics that are called graphic novels were published over the course of several issues. Its just that people are too ignorant to know that just because a comic has sex and violence in it does not make it serious intelligent literature and elevate it above lowly comics. For instance, Sin City is certainly not for children, but its not all that intelligent (Don't get me wrong, I like Sin City, but there are much deeper comics). Yet somehow, it gets elevated above all other comics just because of its content. A year ago, most people would have called V for Vendetta a comic. Now that its been made into an R-rated movie about politics, its a "graphic novel". That's bull****.
 

ourchair

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
13,105
Location
Philippines
I use both "comic" and "book", but I think I use "book" in a different way then if I was talking about a normal book. Example: If I just read a novel, I'd say "I read that book" (in past tense) while if I'm currently picking up a comic, I'd say "I read that book" (in present tense). I suppose it depends on who you're talking to. Most comic fans would know what you're talking about, but someone who doesn't read comics might not understand.
Me, I just avoid calling anything a 'book' anymore.

All of us have, to some extent, accepted consumerism as a way of life: We want DVDs, and gadgets and iPods and fast cars and comics.

In the circles I'm in, it's books. And I ain't dissing that or calling it pretentious or anything, but if you're surrounded by a lot of bibliophiles already, the only way to differentiate yourself is to be specific.

It's like how there are PC fans and Mac fans, or gamers who are role-players and strategy grognards. All of them essentially the same hobby, but can be broken down further.

Me? The reason I avoid calling anything a 'book' is because being specific allows me to REMIND everyone that while I MAY be a bibliophile, getting me something like Rich Dad, Poor Dad is NOT a good idea.

They are 'novels' and 'histories' and 'biographies' and 'comics', to me and a book is merely the form --- dead trees bound together by a dead tree coating --- in which these consumer pleasures take shape.
 

moonmaster

Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
Joined
Feb 23, 2005
Messages
13,670
Me, I just avoid calling anything a 'book' anymore.

All of us have, to some extent, accepted consumerism as a way of life: We want DVDs, and gadgets and iPods and fast cars and comics.

In the circles I'm in, it's books. And I ain't dissing that or calling it pretentious or anything, but if you're surrounded by a lot of bibliophiles already, the only way to differentiate yourself is to be specific.

It's like how there are PC fans and Mac fans, or gamers who are role-players and strategy grognards. All of them essentially the same hobby, but can be broken down further.

Me? The reason I avoid calling anything a 'book' is because being specific allows me to REMIND everyone that while I MAY be a bibliophile, getting me something like Rich Dad, Poor Dad is NOT a good idea.

They are 'novels' and 'histories' and 'biographies' and 'comics', to me and a book is merely the form --- dead trees bound together by a dead tree coating --- in which these consumer pleasures take shape.
I like books.
 

Captain Canuck

The poster formerly known as captaincanuck65
Joined
Feb 23, 2008
Messages
8,622
Location
Toronto, ON (Canada)
Cap's treatise on comic books in art.

well a comic is more like a book than it is like a movie or a play...in that you read it, but it also uses images to get it's point across. It's an interesting medium though, b/c it's not like a children's picture book, b/c those have stories that don't need pictures, and then pictures are added to enhance the story. But a comic is written in such a way (if it's done well) that the story couldn't be told without the art. In that way it's more like a movie or a play.

It seems like in the evolution of comic books they started out more like picture books (very wordy with explanations and captions, etc and then pictures that enhance the story) but they've moved away from that and I kind of feel like for the most part now, the story is told more through the art than through the words. The words enhance the art rather than the other way round like it was in the beginning.

Sure, it's an art form that will probably never be taken seriously by the elitist society that decides what is real "literature," just like science fiction movies and novels will also never be taken seriously in the mainstream. But I think eventually people will have to realize that Star Wars and Spider-Man have had just as much of a cultural effect as any of the "great literary classics." And sure, probably about 80% or more of the sci-fi and comic industry is mindless entertainment and/or poorly written, but take another look at Kraven's Last Hunt, or even the philosophy "with great power there must also always come great responsibility" (just to pick on one popular super hero) and tell me there aren't deep themes present.
 

Latest posts

Top