The Instigator
Super-Combo
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
resolutionsmasher
Con (against)
Winning
38 Points

Comic books are more effective storytellers than novels

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
resolutionsmasher
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/25/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,086 times Debate No: 7090
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (6)

 

Super-Combo

Pro

If you want to debate on this topic, you should probably have read at least 1 comic book and 1 novel before; I hope I'm not asking for too much.
Ever since I started reading comic books, from the Silver Surfer to Eyeshield 21, I have found that comic books are more effective storytelling devices in comparison to text heavy novels in terms of:
-Displaying emotions and thought processes that characters undergo
-Descriptions of places, people, objects, etc...
-Smoothly and clearly moving through transitions between periods of time.

From my own experience I have found that characters' thoughts and emotions are all more engaging when accompanied by pictures rather than descriptions, mainly due to the fact that our brains are able to process images faster almost simultaneously as we decode the words at a considerably slower pace. This allows a more perceptible view of the physical and mental developments of complicated characters when experiencing anger, joy, stress, or anguish.

Quite simply, I believe that words can never truly take the place of a drawing from the hands of a talented artist.

Transitions between scenes of comic books are varied because the free flowing template of comic strips allows the author to do so. Japanese "manga" serve as a great example of the abstract interpretations of comic strips, evolving beyond the simple uniform 6 box construction popular in America. Having box sizes in correspondence to the significance of each event allows the reader to fluidly read through a series of events in a similar fashion to the way that they occur; if there is a long inner monologue explaining characters thoughts, text boxes are often larger and take longer to read, whereas smaller boxes containing only images or sound effects allows the reader simply glance at each picture box to assisting the author's task of captivating his audience.
resolutionsmasher

Con

Hello I thank you for posting this debate and wish you luck.

Now on to the issue at hand. I believe that comic books are not a more effective form of storytelling than novels but are instead of the same effectiveness as that of a novel.

I have two reasons at to why my position on this issue is correct.
Reason 1: The effects of different forms of storytelling vary drastically between each and every person.
Reason 2: Some ideas can only be expressed through a novel, and visa-versa.

Now back to my first argument. The effects of different forms of storytelling vary drastically between each and every person. The US department of education did a study that proved that every student and therefore every human being has different ways that they learn. Some learn visually and would therefore prefer a comic book over a novel. Some learn the auditory way and would therefore prefer the novel over the comic book. Some can even learn kinimatically (action based) and would much more prefer a more interactive form of story telling such as oral tradition. Since the only way to say that one is better than the other is by opinion then the only resolution to conflicting ideas is a draw between the two.

And now for my final argument. Some ideas can only be expressed through a novel, and visa-versa. The novel has long been the main form of storytelling rather than pictorial epics because it allows the readers to draw their own conclusions. If you ask two people to read a very descriptive passage from a novel and then ask them to illustrate it in detail (assuming they are of the same artistic talent) they will each draw a scene completely different from the other. While both scenes are different they both will fulfill the author's distinct vision for the story. And both artists still are satisfied that their picture is their most accurate. Comic books, on the other hand provide a given visualization for readers who don't like having to tie up the loose ends themselves. It also gives the storyteller the opportunity to show exactly what they are thinking to their readers.

As I have proved there is no way to prove that the one is better than the other. Therefore I urge a vote for CON.

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Debate Round No. 1
Super-Combo

Pro

I would like to thank Resolutionsmasher for accepting this debate; I wish you luck as well.

I noticed that within your response was no rebuttal to my original arguments. However, whether or not you would like to counter any of my arguments is completely up to you.

Now to address your discourse.

It is true that different people have different dominate senses, which allow easier comprehension using specific methods that include use of visual or auditory aid. However, your argument strays to a tangential matter; this debate is concerning comic books and novels, thus this discussion remains in the realm of visual learners ONLY, there should be no discussion of visual and auditory learners since, unless your book is more like a video game, there is no auditory or kinesthetic aids present.

I would like to point out that the written word was developed through the metamorphosis of the first REAL forms of writing: Cuneiform and Hieroglyphics.
For those of you who are not familiar with Cuneiform and Hieroglyphics, they were developed around the 30th century B.C. and began as systems of pictographs. Hieroglyphics have been known to chronicle the rule of various pharaohs and records stories of the gods such as Ra, and goddesses such as Iris.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
The statement, "The novel has long been the main form of storytelling rather than pictorial epics..." is false.

As for your artists...
Your argument vague. If the passage is as descriptive as you say there really shouldn't be too much variation in the drawings. Unless you documentation of a specific instance when your theory was tested and confirmed, any speculations on whether or not the artists would, "...draw a scene completely different from the other." or if the drawings would be able to, "...fulfill the author's distinct vision for the story." are invalid.

Whether or not their work is to be interpreted by the reader or laid out before them is up to the author. But keep in mind: where a readers interpretation can become complicated and confusing, physical pictures carry immutable meanings and offer more security for the author.
resolutionsmasher

Con

As a quick response to my opponents comments at the begging of round two I'd like to say that I held off attacking his case so that I could do so this round. I was also hoping that we might be able to devote Round 3 to the rebuilding of our cases. Just because I don't post my rebuttal against his argument in this round doesn't mean I don't have one. I am holding off until the 3rd round of debate.

Now on with my attack on his case. As to his beginning stipulations, I am an avid reader of both manga (Naruto, Tsubasa, D-Gray Man, and several others) and novels (I own my own library of both classic and modern novels from which I regularly read), so I find my self highly qualified for this debate.

My opponent has summarized his reasons for comic books being better than novels in three quick, small, and easily refutable statements: "-Displaying emotions and thought processes that characters undergo-Descriptions of places, people, objects, etc...-Smoothly and clearly moving through transitions between periods of time." I will negate each of these separately along with the observations from the main body of his case.

Statement 1: "Displaying emotions and thought processes that characters undergo."
When comic book characters show said emotions in a detailed way it actually confuses the reader. For example the classic sweatdrop animation depicts a character with an abnormally large drop of water clinging to their head. This is a specific, commonly used image that can depict a plethora of feelings in a character (ie: disappointment, annoyance, distress, frustration, irritation, exasperation, surprise, revelation, astonishment, the list goes on and on and has a tendency to confuse the reader). This has been proven by a study of various images in comic books done by the University Of Tokyo Art Department.

Statement 2: "Descriptions of places, people, objects, etc..."
As I stated in my own case, a novel allows many readers to form their own mental image of a scene and play it out in their head however they please. For more information regarding the proof of this statement please see my case. NOTE: the study referred to here was actually performed and tested by The Harvard Institute of Literature. We teach novels in high level English classes for a reason. Furthermore, we also don't teach comic books in those same classes for the same reason. Novels dig deeper into human nature and therefore appeal more to readers because they can be connected to us in a certain way. The often unrealistic depictions and storyline of a comic book will often alienate readers from that same storyline. This is a statement from the final report of that study. And I am very sure of that institute's authority on the subject.

Statement 3: "Smoothly and clearly moving through transitions between periods of time."
My opponent makes this statement in a way that implies that novels aren't capable of the same thing, and this is completely wrong. Space time manipulation is a special and confusing aspect of literature, whether comic or novel. No matter which form of literature you look at, the idea of suddenly switching from one time period to another or from one place to another is one that is usually difficult for readers to wrap their minds around. Either artist or writer must use great caution when doing so, so as to keep their audiences attention. So in this case a comic book is no different than a novel, and my opponent's argument fails.

As for the remainder of my opponents case, note that all of his observations are just that: observations. He has no physical proof from any other source other than himself. Being no professor of psychology or literature or art his ideas do not qualify as proof, as opposed to my proof which involves complicated studies done by well qualified and certified individuals and institutions.

Because of these arguments, my opponents case fails altogether and that leave you, the voters, with one intelligent choice to make: my case is the better made, proven, and supported case, and is therefore the clear winner in today's debate.

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Debate Round No. 2
Super-Combo

Pro

I would like to remind my opponent that this debate is entitled "Comic books are more effective storytellers than novels", not "manga are more effective storytellers than novels". My opponent began to attack my case by saying
"As to his beginning stipulations, I am an avid reader of both manga and novels". This debate encompasses ALL comic books, including both manga, and comic books. My opponents' lack of insight into the American comic book industry leaves him at grossly underqualified for this debate.

Statement 1: "Displaying emotions and thought processes that characters undergo."
Although the meaning of the sweat drop in Japanese manga can be overused and have a large variety of meanings, a veteran manga enthusiast can easily combine both the context of the situation and the dialogue between characters to discern the emotions being displayed. Furthermore, you must also consider that the famed abnormally large sweatdrop is rarely used in American comic books such as X-men. In issue X-men: Annual ShatterShot Part 2 (an issue from my own collection, there is no use of the sweat drop at all, as opposed to the countless number of sweat drops in manga such as Love Hina. Please note that my opponent's support for his statements are accompanied with no citations of any sources whatsoever.

Statement 2: "Descriptions of places, people, objects, etc..."
resolutionsmasher

Con

My opponent has informed me that he was unable to finish his last posting due to inexplicable and unavoidable circumstances. As a measure of good faith I will only refute what he has given me.

First of all. Any intelligent person can see that manga is the highest form of comic book storytelling and that if it cannot overcome the excellent medium of the novel (as I have proved) then all comic books therefore fall short of that expectation.

Finally, as to my first point. While he attempted to discredit my sources in this debate, I have proven their validity in my comments on this debate. My opponent didn't provide any other reason as to how my first argument was wrong therefore it flows through.

I now strongly urge voters to vote for me, as the more successful debater in this (and all other) rounds of this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by resolutionsmasher 8 years ago
resolutionsmasher
What do you mean no citations? I can't put a hyperlink on a printed publication. I get these reports in the school newspapers of ivy league schools and I called the University of Tokyo.
Posted by resolutionsmasher 8 years ago
resolutionsmasher
Suprised to see who accepted this debate, saamanthagrl? Me too! I clicked the accept button on accident. But what the hey, why not.
Posted by saamanthagrl 8 years ago
saamanthagrl
Nice introduction, this should be a good debate. I can't wait to see who accepts.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
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Vote Placed by beccanixx 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by cool_dude 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by theitalianstallion 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by saamanthagrl 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by resolutionsmasher 8 years ago
resolutionsmasher
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