Comics V/S Novels

Rudolphe Töpffer coined the term ‘comic book’ in the year 1827 and it has now become one of the most popular genres of books to be read. To put it simply, a comic book is a strip of images with little bits and pieces of dialogues. These strips are called comic strips and each image, along with the text, is called a panel.

When I say novel here, it includes the specific term novel, novella, short stories, etc. Basically a story without any pictures and heavy amount of text. While some books do have pictures, especially children’s literature, I am not looking at that part of literature. This article is not about which one of the two is better, but rather what aspects of novels and comic books attract a reader towards itself.

Comic books provide readers with a wide range of graphic stimulation. The images drawn by the artist depicts every minute detail of a certain emotion, creating art which is one of its kind. The systematic progression of a story from one image to the other, or to better put it, from one panel to another, allows the reader to understand the plot and the situation without the excessive use of text. This feature of comic books makes the act of reading a quick and easy process.

On the other hand, novels contain a heavy amount of text and very little visual representations. The detailed descriptions of the emotions, physical attributes, the crux of a situation, etc give the reader an opportunity to utilize his imagination in order to form a mental image of everything he or she reads. This enables their minds to open up to new concepts and form their own opinions on it. However, the very act then allows for a longer reading timeline.

Yet, the arguments and everything else fades away in the face of a reader’s desire to read, whether it is a novel or a comic book. When a reader comes across a story which he or she likes, then the fact of the story being in a comic form or a novel form doesn’t matter. Meanwhile, there are also people who read a story because it is a comic or a novel. Then the question arises as to how do a reader’s choice is influenced? Is there a conscious effort involved or is it merely subjective?

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