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Why Not More Comics?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020


Why comics? “All that it is Necessary to say … upon this subject, may be effected by affirming, what few persons will deny, that, of two descriptions, either of passions, manners, or characters, each of them equally well executed, the one in prose and the other in comics, the comics will be read a hundred times where the prose is read once.” That's not exactly what William Wordsworth wrote in his Preface to Lyrical Ballads, of course—he had “verse” where I have “comics” (112). Nor did Wordsworth say that the pleasure of seeing expressive, hand-drawn characters could produce

a complex feeling of delight, which is of the most important use in tempering the painful feeling always found intermingled with powerful descriptions of the deeper passions … while, in lighter compositions, the ease and gracefulness with which artists manage their lines are themselves confessedly a principal source of the gratification of the Reader.

Theories and Methodologies
Copyright © Modern Language Association of America, 2019

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