Making Comic Books Speak

October 22, 2014 1:32 PM

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Making Comic Books Speak

Look closely and you'll see me twitch when someone calls the latest comic book I've written a graphic novel. That's partly a matter of personal history: it wasn't graphic novels that I fell in love with as a child; it was the freshness, the immediacy, the mind-expanding wonderment of comics.

But there's more to my reaction than that, and a very real downside to the respectable new name. When comics become a species of novel -- the graphic kind instead of the young adult or literary kind -- it sends the message that what matters most are the words. And that couldn't be more wrong. It's a...

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