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Graphic fiction (comic books) vs. prose fiction (novels)

Ubuntu1 Members Posts: 852 ✭✭✭
edited May 2015 in Quite Comical
Which do you prefer, if either, and why? As a general rule I think I prefer graphic fiction to adult prose fiction and children's/Y.A prose fiction to both (there are many exceptions. Octavia Butler is still my favorite author and I'll always reread my favorite adult novels but there aren't many that I haven't already read that I'd go out of my way to. I also prefer fantasy/science fiction/horror (including horror that has no supernatural or fantastical elements) even though I like a lot of the mundane/realistic fiction I've already read, there aren't many non-fantasy/horror novels I haven't read that I'd go out of my way to, especially if it's written for adults.

I think that novels require *even* more imagination than comic books and you can 'get inside the character's head' with novels in a way that you can't with graphic fiction (at least with comic books, unlike television, you still have to imagine the movement of the story because the only thing you actually see are still images). One possible argument for comic books is that seeing the events (or at least the pictures depicting them) triggers a stronger emotional reaction or a stronger sense of being involved with the story than mentally creating them from 'scratch' with prose fiction, at least for some people (I wouldn't be surprised if most people responded more to actually seeing something bad happen -even on film-than to reading about it). Comics books have the best of both worlds (some imagination, some raw visual stimulation). When it comes to prose fiction I prefer narration to be plot/action/event oriented and to not waste time deviating from that and for the author to use simple and to the point language. One huge advantage that television/movies have over both is background music and the emotional impact that has on the scene. I like the idea of a fantasy movie or t.v show with no background music (it should still have lots of in-scene music) to help give it a sense of realism, though.


  • jono
    jono Right fist = power, left fist = unity Members Posts: 30,280 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Novels. Ive honestly read more novels than comic books but its not because I think one is superior its just that I like for things to be settled and not broken into pieces.

    I know that some novels operate in parts but pretty much all comics do. Im not the type to hunt for issue 4 or 5 of a comic book or a novel but some of the best stories ive ever read like Orwell or Bradbury or Ellison were single novels.

    I couldn't imagine having Invisible Man or Black Boy broken up into multiple books. Comics are fun though.
  • Broddie
    Broddie just me and my bitch NYCMembers Posts: 11,750 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I like a good book as much as the next guy. Give me some free time and a classic James Ellroy or Stephen King novel and you won't see me again until I've finished it.

    With that said I learned to read thanks to comic books back in the late 80's. Because of that I have read thousands of comic books from then to now as opposed to only hundreds of books in the same time period. I can't say I really prefer one to the other though. I find equal enjoyment in both mediums and both have their merits. For the sake of the argument though if I had to the slight nod goes to comic books only because again it was my gateway to reading.
  • zzombie
    zzombie Members Posts: 11,280 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Two different artforms two different feelings