Douglas Wolk in his Reading Comics develops this approach even further and goes deeper into the themes Chute discusses but includes superhero alongside non-fiction comics. This work not only talks about where comics stand as a cultural medium in 2007, but also creates solutions to problems raised in A Comics Studies Reader by discussing a method in which we can understand why comics work as a literary medium and by specifying who is doing the best work in every one of its genres. There are individual chapters dedicated to self-published creators like the Hernandez Brothers, Dave Sim, and Charles Burns, to the recent classics like Alison Bechdel and Art Spiegelman, and to superhero auteurs like Morrison and Alan Moore.
The central thesis of Wolk’s book is to show the diversity of the medium as well as to use the book as an entrance point for non-comics readers to understand the form.
Wolk sensibly argues that one cannot apply any established form of literary or cinematic criticism to comics, because the medium has its own rules. Even though it is a marriage of many media (art and literature), it cannot be strictly defined as aligning itself with one form or the other. It is, distinctly, its own thing, which is to say: “comics.”
Comics are not prose. Comics are not movies. They are not a text-driven medium with added pictures; they’re not the visual equivalent of prose narrative or a static version of a film. They are their own thing; a medium with its own devices, its own innovators, its own clichés, its own genres and traps and liberties. The first step toward attentively reading and fully appreciating comics is acknowledging that. (Wolk 14)
This is the central standard that runs throughout Wolk’s book, and it is the line that I will be following throughout this thesis. Wolk also says the hallmarks for Grant Morrison’s writing are present in “reality-bending metafictional freakouts dressed up in action-adventure drag; metaphors that make visible the process by which language creates an image that in turn becomes narrative.” (258)