The whole bookscan/genre debate marches on, and Chris Mautner somehow reintroduces the canon debate into the mix. The link is a round-up of other links, but it includes this statement from a genuine academic, Prof. David Ball
The question you ask is an incredibly vexed one for literary studies, and created (and continues to create) a ferment of critical debate and discussion (the so-called “canon wars” of the 1990s). On one hand, canons are necessary devices: they cull essential texts out of an archive that would otherwise be illimitable. Alas, we are only given so much time to read in our lives. Yet at the same time, they often impose arbitrary biases upon the richness and heterogeneity of the texts being produced at any given moment. If you look at literary anthologies from earlier periods, for example, you will find a paucity of women writers or writers of color. Given this bind, I think the best articulations of canon formation are as aware as possible of the standards by which they select some texts and ignore others. I also would hope that a comics canon would encourage us to read more, not less, and would represent the diversity of work being done in the field. A canon should invite debate, not seek to stifle it.
There’s also this link to a longish analysis of READING COMICS and its relation to the canon.
Diagonally related, Purity Brown takes on the what is art/mainstream/etc. question at length:
What is an “art comic”? Dick Hyacinth wants to say that “art/literary comics” are “comics for which creative expression outweighs market considerations”. Possibly that’s what the term “art comics” should mean, on a simple, intuitive reading of the words; but in practice, that definition would be completely useless, because how would you tell? I mean, sure, sometimes it’s obvious. (I sincerely doubt that Dylan Meconis decided to create a webcomic about a fictional 18th-century German theologian because that’s how you make the big bucks.) But what about, say, The Umbrella Academy?
What say we? We say buy this book
and have done with it. We suspect this book (from the same publisher) will also be of aid.