You say, Shachar, that the kids who grew up reading comics could appreciate them in adulthood. That’s true, but surely they’d be better graduating to reading something a little more challenging. I’m not talking about ploughing through ‘War and Peace’, or anything equally heavy, or even so called ‘literary novels’ (a strange term. Isn’t all literature ‘literary’?) but simply normal books where the reader interprets the words themselves into images and emotions. Otherwise, they might as well stick to watching TV and the dross churned out by Hollywood studios. It would be hypocritical for me to malign ‘entrtainment’ fiction, as I write series crime novels myself. (http://www.ex-l-ence.com/collections/chris-grahams-books)
I agree with you that the covers are pretty tame… though possibly that’s because often, in many things, America is rather more prudish than most developed countries (excepting theocracies, of course.) They certainly aren’t sexually explicit, but neither was the now virtually extinct ’page three’ (a British daily newspaper phenomenon of topless glamour model photos on page three, as pioneered by ‘The Sun’ newspaper.). It didn’t stop the campaigns by well meaning prudes, and affronted feminists, to get them removed.
It also seems that we agree that they aren’t literature, yet a lot of American sourced blogs and bulletins, aimed at advising aspiring writers, seem to cite comics and superhero movies etc. as shining examples to follow where plotting and characterisation are concerned. I find this odd, as surely the reason for the comic… or ‘graphic novel’ if you want to give it a more grown up title… is for the artwork to deal with the imagery, while what text remains is kept simple. Maybe that’s what the American book market wants to sell. Books that can be finished quickly, so the reader will then go and buy another.