In the broad category of fiction, where do graphic novels fit?
For that matter, were do collections of comic strips or panels, like those of Breathed and Trudeau, fit?
Or do they have a place at that table at all?
Apparently they do. Two new books that contain strips and graphic works are reviewed in the Sunday New York Times Book Review section from Sunday, Dec. 17.
Oddly, the reviewers, one of whom is Gary Trudeau himself, only barely mention what, to me, were important works in this particular pantheon.
They don’t give more than passing mention to “comix.”
Comix were sometimes subversive, sometimes outrageous, always outside the mainstream comic panels and strips produced during the ’60s, for the most part.
They played a huge part in the burgeoning ridicule heaped on the Johnson-Nixon administrations as they pursued war in Southeast Asia. They were radical. And they were experimental and funny.
Perhaps there are collections of these works out there somewhere. If so, I will try to find some just to remind myself of what it was like to live in a time when you could speak truth to power and be really ugly about it.