Graphic Novels

Talk about music, movies, television, books, and other media. No religious or political discussion allowed.
User avatar
scotland
Posts: 1864
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Graphic Novels

Postby scotland » June 14th, 2015, 7:09 pm

Saw a news story about a college student protesting the inclusion of graphic novels in her English Fiction class

Article wrote:Tara Shultz, along with her parents and friends have called for the “eradic[ation] [of the books] from the system,” and have complained to the College’s administrators over their inclusion. The graphic novels in question, Persepolis, Fun Home, Y: The Last Man Vol. 1, and The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll’s House, are four of the ten graphic novels included in the course’s curriculum, and Shultz has complained about the nudity, sex, violence and torture contained in them. According to the Redland Daily Facts newspaper, Shultz claimed that “It was shocking, I didn’t expect to open the book and see that graphic material within. I expected Batman and Robin, not pornography.” The student brought forward the complaint after the point at which she could drop the course without receiving a failing grade.


Article Author wrote:It is annoying to see such a dismissal of graphic novels and comics in general: the assumption that comic books are juvenile and aimed primarily at children. It’s a tired, predictable argument, and there’s innumerable examples of where graphic novels have examined difficult issues, demonstrating over and over again that the medium can contribute to the literary canon as well as any novel. Even the long-running and established franchise characters can tell incredible and important stories, while entertaining at the same time.


Comics have had a long storied history, but from the mid 1950s to the mid 1980s, yes, it was mostly a juvenile medium, as comics on spinner racks were kid accessible. From the rise of the dedicated comics store, that's changed, and since the contraction of the mid 90s, comics have become more insular and more adult. The recent popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be reinforcing that comics are, if not just for kids, at least mostly kid friendly. Here we have a person unfamiliar probably with graphic novels of the last few decades, and whose expectations where rocked. I'm sympathetic, but its also a bit like someone grew up with watching Disney TV and suddenly was watching Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.

Vexer6
Posts: 295
Joined: April 9th, 2015, 12:14 am

Re: Graphic Novels

Postby Vexer6 » June 14th, 2015, 7:22 pm

I'll admit i'd be surprised to see graphic novels in an English class myself, personally I don't have much of a dog in this fight since I so rarely read comics anyways(aside from The Punisher anyways).

ActRaiser
Posts: 473
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 12:38 pm

Re: Graphic Novels

Postby ActRaiser » June 14th, 2015, 7:41 pm

When the #18 title in Time Magazine's list of 100 all time best novels is a graphic novel, me thinks, the young'en should expand her horizons a bit.

http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/2681 ... 100_Novels

When I took literature in college I had the esteemed privilege to have to listen to my professor read her poem about lesbian love.

gag

I would have killed to have a professor with a bit more interesting take on literature to include graphic novels. However, on the plus side we did get to watch The Philadelphia Story with Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stuart, and Carey Grant. So, we had that going for us at least.

User avatar
Rev
Posts: 1290
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:31 pm

Re: Graphic Novels

Postby Rev » June 14th, 2015, 7:57 pm

I think it's pretty cool that an English fiction course is including graphic novels in the teacher's curriculum. Persepolis is a very good work of art and we studied the film in one of my college classes. I thought it was great (so much so that I bought the movie about a year ago).

As far as graphic novels in general, before I really started to collect retro games I had a huge manga collection. I would spend hours reading these types of books and would get woven into all the different types of stories. I eventually gave it up and sold off 99% of my collection on eBay, somehow making more money back than what I put into it. I got out around the right time since the market crashed about 6-12 months later. I still miss having the novels. I read them online sometimes but it isn't the same as having the series sitting in a pile by the couch.

Vexer6
Posts: 295
Joined: April 9th, 2015, 12:14 am

Re: Graphic Novels

Postby Vexer6 » June 14th, 2015, 8:13 pm

That sounds like a poem i'd actually enjoy ;)

ActRaiser
Posts: 473
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 12:38 pm

Re: Graphic Novels

Postby ActRaiser » June 14th, 2015, 11:22 pm

Vexer6 wrote:That sounds like a poem i'd actually enjoy ;)


haha, yeah, if she was of the lipstick persuasion I could see the appeal. However, replace that image with a 50+ year old teacher that had clearly seen better days and you might get why I wasn't quite so impressed.

Vexer6
Posts: 295
Joined: April 9th, 2015, 12:14 am

Re: Graphic Novels

Postby Vexer6 » June 15th, 2015, 11:25 am

Ah I see your point.

ActRaiser
Posts: 473
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 12:38 pm

Re: Graphic Novels

Postby ActRaiser » January 30th, 2016, 10:16 am

Did anyone watch the history of Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle on PBS? It was a 3 part, 1 hour each history of comics. It was awesome. They even explained the Comics Code Authority and how that came to be.

It's kind of funny but comics kind of ran through the same sort of hurdle as video games. Senators got up in arms that comic books were turning our children into delinquents, hence, the Comics Code Authority came into play. With video games we got the ratings system in the 90s.

I've started to collect/read Marvel Omnibis and DCs Absolute Editions. Not having read comics for 25 years there's a ton of stuff to catch up on and now we easily have access to the last 75 years of comics. I used to love to read comics when I was a kid but when they went up to $1.50 an issue I called it quits as I couldn't afford that and video games.

Kind of funny to think $1.50 is a lot these days. But when I was a kid I'd go to the local drug store, get a $0.75 comic and a milkshake for under $2.00. I loved my trips to the local drug store as I could sit, read, have a milk shake, and take home a comic all in the same afternoon.

Now, that I'm done rambling, does anyone have recommendations for more of a complete series or book in a single collection (or maybe some defined ending)? I really loved the Planetary Omnibus and Absolute All Star Superman. And I have the Sandman Omnibis but haven't started them yet.

User avatar
scotland
Posts: 1864
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Re: Graphic Novels

Postby scotland » January 30th, 2016, 10:58 am

A good book is "The Ten Cent Plague" by David Hajdu. The whole "Seduction of the Innocent" from Wertham is a good parallel to the 90s Night Trap hearings. In the 40s and 50s, mostly before the widespread availability of televisions, comics were huge and widely read. After WWII, superheroes declined in popularity and other genres, from teenage comedy (Archie) to funny animals (Bugs Bunny) to EC horror and crime, to westerns and romance (Simon and Kirby were big here too - just amazing). What happened is that as comics made material for teen and adult audiences, parents and other well intentioned people interpreted that as corrupting on young kids. Other mediums go through it too - whether its table top role playing or animation or video games. If its seen as a 'kids medium' than more mature content is going to face backlash and wild projections of the harm it does.

Movies and radio and broadcast television were always for everyone, and they too had to fit into a "G" rating for a very long time. Other media, like the pulps, had more freedom in its content (or maybe were just never popular enough to matter). Comics, even when widely read by GIs in WWII, were seen as a kids medium like comic strips, and that made it worse. The CCA was the equivalent of the Hays Code for movies to make it all "G", and really devastated whole companies and hampered the quality of comics for years. It slowly loosened its grip in the early 1970s, and by the 1980s with the rise of comic book stores, really no longer meant anything.

User avatar
DaHeckIzDat
Posts: 593
Joined: April 9th, 2015, 1:41 pm

Re: Graphic Novels

Postby DaHeckIzDat » January 30th, 2016, 7:47 pm

Hmm... that's an interesting question. It reminds me of when I took history of film in high school. I expected them to show things like Citizen Kain and the like, and was shocked when Apocalypse Now and Pink Floyd's: The Wall were included. The field of American literature (and literature overall) has expanded infinitely over the past couple of decades, so including a graphic novel seems appropriate. I'd be interested to see if self-published novels and online fiction on sites such as WattPad and Fictionpress are included as well someday. However, did the professor have to choose graphic novels with nudity and the like? I realize this is a college course, but I'm sure there are hundreds of great graphic novels that DON'T have those things that would have made the professor's point just fine.


Return to “Other Media”