By 1969, the writer John Updike, who had entertained thoughts of turning into a cartoonist in his youngsters, addressed the Bristol Literary Society, on “the dying of the novel”. Updike presented examples of new areas of exploration for novelists, declaring “I see no intrinsic motive why a doubly talented artist won’t get up and create a comic strip novel masterpiece”.
Detail from Blackmark (1971) via scripter Archie Goodwin and artist-plotter Gil Kane.
Gil Kane and Archie Goodwin’s Blackmark (1971), a science fiction/sword-and-sorcery paperback posted with the aid of Bantam Books, did no longer use the time period in the beginning; the back-cover blurb of the thirtieth-anniversary version (ISBN 978-1-56097-456-7) calls it, retroactively, “the first actual American photograph novel”. The Academy of Comic Book Arts provided Kane with a unique 1971 Shazam Award for what it referred to as “his paperback comics novel”. Whatever the nomenclature, Blackmark is a 119-page tale of comic-book artwork, with captions and phrase balloons, posted in a conventional book format. It is likewise the primary with an original heroic-journey person conceived expressly for this shape.
European creators have been additionally experimenting with the longer narrative in comics shape. In the United Kingdom, Raymond Briggs became generating works together with Father Christmas (1972) and The Snowman (1978), which he himself defined as being from the “bottomless abyss of strip cartooning”, even though they, in conjunction with such different Briggs works because the extra mature When the Wind Blows (1982), have been re-advertised as graphic novels within the wake of the term’s reputation. Briggs notes, but, “I don’t know if I like that term too much”.