Comics as Novels?

When I would think about comics, the first thing that comes to my mind is that comics are about heroes and bad guys and made up fantasy characters, something along with Marvel Comics, DC Comics and Manga. The second thought about comics is about humor and cartoons, something along the lines of comic strips that you can find in newspaper and some comic books like Archie. It was easy to think of comics as such because of the mass influence and production Marvel Comics and DC Comics have. Very recently I discovered that there is much more to comics than action and fantasy: there is truth, anecdotes and great stories.

From someone who has never read a comic before, I must say that when reading Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi I was very impresses on how comic about a little girl (author) growing up in Iran could be so interesting. The first part, or book one, is about how she learned many things about society including norms, politics, and social classes. Satrapi’s childhood was very interesting and the book shows how she had to accept the norms set by her government and society. She was forced to wear a veil at school. teachers and other people could hurt her or more if she or other girls and women didn’t wear it. She learned about the separation of social classes. Her maid and a neighbor were having secret romance. When her maid was caught with the romance Satrapi was told that it was impossible for them to have a relationship “because in [Iran] [people] must stay within [their] own social class (37). She was so young to accept that norm but yet she was forced to accept because that was the society she was part of.

There are other great anecdotes and lesson and historic events the author had to learn and live through that makes the comic book very similar to a novel. When reading the book it felt as if I was reading a novel and not a book. The book has open my mind and to look at comics as more than action and superheroes and collecting every issue of a series. Now I know comics are more than just issues to read and collect. They could be great novels.

Advertisements