I was talking to Mark Brooks about how he got his start in comic books, and he told me that he was in art school for about a year before one of his professors told him that comic book art wasn't a legit form of art, which of course resulted in him dropping out, studying on his own, and achieving the fame that he now has with Marvel Comics.
But it got me thinking about how blacklisted comic books used to be. Even Stan Lee created the pen name Stan Lee so that once he made started writing "grown up" novels, he would change his name back to Stanley Lieber and go on to writing more mature books. Of course, a good 40 years later, Stan Lee changed his legal name to his pen name and became the god of comic books that he is now.
But again, if we rewind the clock back, comic books were definitely not considered mature material and anyone who worked in the industry only did it for the paycheck or an attempt to make a hobby their living. But now it's become such a popular medium (with the movies and what not), that I think it's safe to say that comic books have grown up.
Watchmen. Dark Knight Returns. V for Vendetta. Sandman. Blankets. Maus. Strangers in Paradise. Batman: The Long Halloween. And many many more have all proven that comic books are not the "POW!" and "BOOM!" books that they used to be. They can be deep. They can be touching. They can be powerful. They can be literature. And although many people still don't believe that comic books can be considered part of the literary canon of America, I would bet that if comic books stay on the same track that it is on right now, it'll finally earn its place up on the racks with Slaughter House 5, 2001, and Martian Chronicles.