The bigger picture

by Ahalya on October 2, 2010

JGW-2010-with-campfireI bumped into an old friend yesterday and told her about the graphic novel giveaway. Oh that’s interesting she said, but do people read graphic novels? Aren’t they, like, sorta like, comic books for kids?
I wondered if she was kidding. Yes, sure, books for kids are better with pictures, but when did we decide that books for adults needed nothing more than words. I was surprised that someone as well-read as her, someone as serious about literature as her would continue to look down upon ‘books with pictures’.
Why do some readers absolutely refuse to acknowledge the graphic novel as part of legitimate literature?

Why are we so contemptuous of images in books? Is this a kind of ‘intellectual snobbery’?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Priyanka Borpujari October 2, 2010 at 6:33 pm

I can tell only from personal experience, and don’t mind sounding duh (could have rephrased that as “at the risk of sounding duh….”, but I am okay with my duh-ness). I never knew that graphic novels existed on this planet. Like, drawings are for kids only. And so when I stopped drawing and painting (which was and is my first love) there was no imagination that books could exist with drawings too. Because all the books you got to see were thick novels, and reading a very thick book with very tiny font means you are really cool. So yes, I believe it is intellectual snobbery.
But it is so also in the case of those who read graphic novels. I have met such people who say that other books are crappy. So it is always the case of the ego, even with the books that one reads.

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Meethil October 2, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Yup. We who read text heavy books are victims of ‘intellectual snobbery’. Thats why we drool over hardbacks and pick the fattest books to read. In such circumstances we would rather die than be seen reading a ‘picture-book’.

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Ahalya October 3, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Priyanka! You have won a graphic novel.

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Aditya October 9, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Haha if they knew what some of the graphic novels had, they would keep all comics away from kids by association.

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