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The comic book as literature: Contemporary comics and the path to recognition for literary awards

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Comics and graphic novels developed from being regarded merely as children’s entertainment to a more respected status in the past thirty years. This report examines that Drawn and Quarterly’s (D+Q) publication history for Seth’s Clyde Fans follows a close path to that historical trajectory. It analyzes how D+Q’s dedication to high production values and lobbying efforts advanced the comic medium’s reputation to become more widely considered for literary awards, such as their most recent achievement with Sabrina by Nick Drnaso being longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Clyde Fans is used as a case-study to emphasize that Seth’s artistry and the production attention it received from D+Q makes it an example of a graphic novel that is deserving of recognition outside of comic-specific awards. To conclude, the report emphasizes that lobbying literary awards is an important strategy to further the medium’s reputation for a richer comic book industry in the future.
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