|Perseus Books Group|
the guardian Fri 01 August 2008
Either we have all turned into kidults or comics have suddenly grown up, because today it seems as though everyone is reading them. From the movies, where superheroes reign supreme, to the galleries, where many fine artists are discovering the medium's unique blend of narrative and visuality, comics are trendy - as a character in a recent New Yorker cartoon realises: "Now I have to pretend to like graphic novels, too?" Douglas Wolk is a real-life Comic Store Guy turned critic who is on a mission to open our eyes to the wonders of comics. He admits that the "language of comics criticism is still young and scrawny", but he makes a promising start, wielding quotes from Kant and Simonides of Keos ("poetry is a verbal picture, painting is a silent poetry"). He also proves himself an able advocate for the medium (don't make the common faux pas of describing comics as a genre), and writes with infectious enthusiasm about an art form that ranges from the ridiculous (Adolescent Radioactive Black-Belt Hamsters) to the sublime (Spiegelman's Maus).