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View Diary: The Illustrated Imagination: Graphic Novels (23 comments)

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  •  Who's On First? (3+ / 0-)

    The claim to who created the first Graphic Novel is hotly debated.

    I did some quick Googling.  Marvel Comics put out a series of trade paperback comics they called "Marvel Graphic Novels" starting in 1982.  Jim Starlin's The Death of Captain Marvel was the first of these.  It was fairly groundbreaking in that involved a super-hero actually dying, (If the title didn't give it away).

    A Contract With God predates that, being published in 1978.  But there were graphic novels previous to that too.  The first books to call themselves "graphic novels" came out in 1976, including Richard Corben's Bloodstar.

    Before that, in 1971 Bantam Books published a paperback entitled Blackmark, a sword & sorcery tale by comics legends Marv Wolfman and Gil Kane.

    Some comicologists push it even farther back to a book created in 1930 by newspaper cartoonist Milt Gross entitled He Done Her Wrong: The Great American Novel and Not a Word in It — No Music, Too; a 300 page pantomime novel written entirely in illustration.

    "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

    by quarkstomper on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 09:02:47 PM PDT

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    •  Wow...i never knew the history... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, Louisiana 1976

      I guess it all depends on how you define graphic novel. I'm aware of the Milt Gross and have been looking at the Library of America edition of Lynd Ward's wordless novels beginning in 1929 with "God's Man." I was familiar with Ward's children's stuff; JOHNNY TREMAIN as most kids of my generation were, along with THE BIGGEST BEAR, all done in amazing woodcuts. But his adult work is fabulous. Art Spiegelman wrote the intro to the two-volumes.

      •  How narrative does it have to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Louisiana 1976

        be to count as a graphic novel? What of Max Ernst's collage novels,The Hundred Headless Woman (1929), A Little Girl Dreams of Taking The Veil  (1930) and A Week of Kindness (1934)?

        "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

        by tardis10 on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 09:51:35 PM PDT

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