Just the other day I had a realisation in regards to a film which several people had curiously called a 'dumb film.' Then I read an article which pointed out that such a movie, judged linguistically may be seen as dumb. But the language of films, the article noted, extends beyond the dialogue or plot. It extends into the visual and therefore has a kind of visual intelligence. I would like to theorise that writing can be the same, that there are multiple types of ways to read a book.
One way I would argue is emotionally, to read into what you feel about a novel. To this extent a book might have a particular emotional intelligence - perhaps this is why certain books appear to sell well, when in reality they can be perceived by the general public as poorly written or trashy works. Another way is to read literally, to read linguistically into the words. There is perhaps a further way in reading into the sense or tone of a novel, which is something I personally do regularly. My point being that, to consider works of fiction from purely a linguistic perspective in this modern age may be a fallacy of sorts.
When it comes to a strong graphic novel series no doubt there will be both visual and linguistic intelligence at work. But perhaps we may overlook the less obvious emotional intelligence? Or the intelligence granted the reader through the use of tone? With Fables
there are no doubt those who look at it as a dumb series, with some interesting ideas about fairytales - ideas that still have been done before. But perhaps they are reading it wrong?
What if instead we are meant to look at the ways in which these ideas are coming together with art, clever choices and consistent plotting? What if we are meant to note how fresh it is to have a graphic novel series that doesn't just focus on the story or just focus on the art - a well rounded series. Maybe that is worth a consideration?