Here's a link to an interesting San Diego Comic Con panel, "Comics are NOT Literature." The link will expire at the end of September, by which time we'll apparently be hearing all about what a great idea it would be to kill tons of Iranians. It's an interesting panel. It has its dull directionless times, which is par for the course, but overall gave me a lot to think about. I wish someone would write those ideas up. I agreed with whoever said it's basically identity politics. The formal issues are interesting to a point but beyond that it's about economics and accidents of history. I always think most issues or questions, especially about words, would be better attacked by cutting to the chase and being pragmatic about it. What needs to be done and said to keep things healthy and diverse and thriving? So I was like "right on" when Dan Nadel were talking about how applying words like "literature" to comics is less about how well or not the label fits, and is more about speaking the language one needs to speak to gain institutional support (major gallery collections, major library collections, grants, academia) etc. Nadel says something like "the lack of institutional support is the major problem comics have faced in the 20th century." But we're getting there. Of course institutions bring their own set of problems too... There's other good stuff in there too, and the panel reflects a spectrum of approaches people take--from Nadel's "I don't even think of it as reading" to folks who come from the literary side.