by Lee Cross
They’ve existed from The Golden Age through to what is currently called The Modern Age… but finally I think their time has come; we might be about to enter The Age of the Comic Book.
The next step of literary evolution could be found in the pages of the Graphic Novel; that they are finally going to make the jump, not just to becoming part of the mainstream, but to being the leading form of fiction published in the decades to come.
Why? – Well, the way the world absorbs information has changed, is changing and will undoubtedly continue to do so, for as long as technology ceaselessly marches onwards.
The influences of cinema and the advancement of ‘speical effects’ can’t be underestimated when trying to predict the trends of the casual reader.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has shown Hollywood that comic book adaptation can be profitable, staggeringly so, and worthy of the investment of time, talent and money.
Christopher Nolan Dark Knight Trilogy has shown the modern world that comic book movies can be genuinely great.
And the completely unpredictable success of Deadpool has shown that the stories can be just for adults.
I think the combination of these three blockbuster factors might be enough to trigger a mass surge of interest in the source material… to change the imagine of comics/graphic novels and make them socially acceptable to people who aren’t geeks, nerds or wierdos (…I’ve been called all three and wear the labels as badges of honour…) but something that’s acceptable for everyone to read.
“A picture paints a thousand words,” has never been truer that it is today. Perhaps now is the time for literary expression to evolve too, not by stepping forward but by looking backwards and sideways to the great comic creations of the past 60 years.
There are whole world’s that exist beyond just those of Batman and Superman. Maybe it’s time we bookworms started focusing more on the graphic novel style of storytelling, when looking for the great reads of tomorrow.
[Please Note: I wouldn’t even rate myself as a novice reader of Graphic Novels, words being my passion and novels taking up most of my reading time… but even my virginal fumblings have been highly rewarding. The sensational ‘Sandman’ and ‘Watchmen’ stand tall and shoulder to shoulder with the great ‘straight literature’ of the 20th Century and, to my mind, should be revered accordingly]