We’ve been reading comics from all over, and from all time, and the thing that really stands out for me, is that comics from “back in the day” were heavy on the words and not so much on the big panels and splash pages of action. While there was action, it doesn’t seem to compare to the issues today filled with giant action sequences with dialogue turned way down.  There is probably an argument to be made over which format is better, if only there was a place for thoughtful and wonderful spoilerites from around the world to share their thoughts on the topic…


[poll id=”376″]



About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. I voted More Art than Words, but I think it all depends on the comic. In some instances, the art says everything that needs to be said, but in others, the words can make the book.

  2. It’s words. Art can be great, but if the story is un-engaging it doesn’t matter. Also, you can still get into a good story, even if the art is sub-par.

  3. I cannot vote. The options available do not reflect my feelings.

    I want a story, and I want it to be a well told story. However, this can be done with both words and art, and there are some great examples of wordless comics that still tell a great story because of the fantastic artwork just as there are some well written comics that have sub-par artwork compared to most other works.

    If you really dumb it down, you could say I prefer more art than words (since an artless comic is pretty much just a book), but it isn’t really accurate.

  4. You should have had a choice for “it depends.”

    I voted for more words because I like a good, intricate story, and I hate it when I finish books too quickly. And I’m a fast reader.

    That being said, I do like good art. And some artists can tell a story eloquently without any words at all. If the art is that compelling, I’m fine with fewer words.

    And to be fair, there is such a thing as way too many words, like in the old books where the art tells you what’s happening, and the characters narrate the action too, in case you didn’t get it, and then there’s a third party narrator to tell you again to make sure you were clear on it.

    Anyway, however it’s done, I want a book that makes me want to linger so I don’t just finish it in a few minutes.

  5. Although I love the 70s-80s X-men the novel length pages that Clarmont wrote are honestly almost tiring to read and take a very talented letterer to make it look like anything other than a mess.

    So I guess sure its ok if you are Clarmont but anyone else stick to the old show not tell as much as you can.

  6. I went with more art. Like everything else, there has to be a balance (in this case between words and art), in comics this is very important in my opinion. Nothing aggravates me more when reading a comic, when page after page is just walls of text. I have dropped comics because they were all text with little art, at that point you might as well read a normal book. Comics are story and art, not just one or the other.

  7. Jurisprudence on

    I am into comics for the story. I read A LOT of novels. I write a lot as well. In all honesty most of the time I don’t even have an opinion on the art unless it is so bad as to be distracting from the story. That being said when it gets down to fighty-fight time I prefer my words to be a bit more sparse. Also, I don’t like words just for the sake of words. If its poorly written and using 300 words to tell me something that should have used 30 and some art, yea, that’s bad. That being said my vote still went to words over art.

  8. Ultimately comics are a visual medium, and comic writers are visual storytellers. If they were master wordsmiths they’d be writing novels. Nothing wrong with it. Frankly I like seeing stories by interesting people who might not be “wordy” enough to get a full length novel published. But I’ve found more great art in comics than great writing. My favorites of course combine both. Ex: Thor 379-380.

  9. No option for an even amount…I guess I don’t vote. If I can read a comic and absorb the art in about 15 minutes, I consider the comic a success. For me, that’s an even amount of words and pictures. Comics with too few words, I breeze through and although enjoyable, I feel cheated that I read my comic in 5 minutes or less. Other comics take me a while to read, then I have to go back and look at the pictures. That’s too much reading (Mr. Morrison); even though I like some of those stories too.

  10. I chose Words too. I miss the days when they could tell a story in a single issue. Now it takes 6 times as long and costs 24 times as much.

  11. I went with art over words. Comics are this wonderful synergy between art and words. But sometimes it feels like the more words there are, the less the writer trusts the artist to pull off their end of the creative process. A picture speaks a 1000 words and comics are a visual story telling medium.

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