Words vs. Pictures.

Nancy Pearl, Steve Scher, Katy Sewall and the folks at the Bryant Corner Cafe talk about graphic novels and our imaginative powers.

Now here is a contentious episode. Really, you wonder, contentious? Yes, because we discuss the value of the graphic novel and the comic strip and the comic book.

The contention comes in when we start to debate whether or not words release our imaginations in a way that the pictures, drawn or filmed do not.


Does the book, words on the page, give the readers' imagination the freest flight, the deepest expression?

Does the artists rendering constrain our imaginations? Do their pictures force out our own mental pictures? 

I guess it’s just the same argument that people make about movies. Do the movies ruin the book?

It’s a bit of a rambling conversation among the folks around the table, but stimulating.  What do you think? Are books simply inherently better than graphic novels, comics, movies? Are the pictures in your head stimulated from radio different, better, richer than a TV show?

We agree the experiences are different and it is a mistake to conflate them. Yet, by the end, we were down to debating the relative value of the different art forms.

Rather than list the many books, here are a few references to check out.