Alice O'Keeffe reports in the Observer that two of Britain's best known graphic novelists - Posy Simmonds (more of her work here) and Raymond Briggs have just been made fellows of the Royal Society of Literature. I've enjoyed the work of both "cartoonists" for years, and am so glad that they are being recognised.
On the Continent, graphic novels have been as accepted as films or books for many years, but England has had a snobby attitude towards them. They've always been seen as something just for children ... When my Father Christmas was published in 1973, many people didn't consider a strip cartoon to be a real book at all. ... Cartoonists share some of the blame for the fact that their art has not been taken seriously. Too much of it has been superheroes socking people and semi-obscene stuff. But lately there has been much more work with a dignified, serious subject-matter. And as a genre it's increasingly commercially viable.
An article from Newsweek on the same theme.