It seems that suddenly everyone, regardless of age, cares about Comic Con.
"Don't read those... they'll rot your mind" was the admonition parents had for their comic-book reading kids . Back in the day, comic books were considered de classe, low-brow fare for people who lacked the intellectual wattage to handle legit literature. They were ignored by libraries, bookstores and most grown-ups.
Kids would read them anyway, on the sly, hiding them behind The Mayor of Casterbridge or The Iliad. Some of them were a lot of fun and spawned dozens of fantastic characters whose popularity never waned. But they were relegated to the things of childhood, along with roller skates, bubble gum and Twinkies.
Then, in a culture easily hoodwinked by euphemisms, a simple name change, changed everything. Comic books became "graphic novels" and found instant legitimacy.
They've not only gained respectability, they may usurp traditional books.
There are upwards of a dozen major book fairs around the world. And they get about as much media attention as an accountants' convention. But Comic Con, a convention devoted to characters who wear capes and those who worship them, gets media coverage afforded to World War III. And now, a 53-year-old, jay-walking Twilight fan was struck and killed by a car in the vicinity of Comic Con. Ironically, she was an accountant. Had she been killed at the accountant's trade show, only next of kin would know. But a death at (or at least, near) Comic Con? Now that's newsworthy.
You have to wonder where the abridged, abbreviated, 140 character, emoticon, bite-sized, ultra short form "literary" world is headed. Has our collective attention-span found parity with that of a parakeet? Will stories be soon told not in chapters but mouse clicks? Is our new lingua franca info-graphics?
What's the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel? Somebody answered, "the binding."