Seth: You had a period, like with the underground cartoonists, where they went through the whole taboo-breaking phase, and also attempting to show that comics could cover a wide range of material. But nobody really had any concrete literary aspirations. I think it took a little while, even in the the first part of the early '80s for cartoonists to come around to the idea that perhaps longer stories and more challenging content was acceptable. But it seems like it's the next step. As comics move forward, that's really the areas that can be pursued; not coming up with new gimmicks or clever characters, or not finding flashier ways to tell the story so much, as to try and actually infuse it with some content.
GG: That generally sounds like a pretty accurate historical assessment.
Seth: Although I'm a little worried at the moment. I really felt a couple of years ago that this was obvious to everyone working in the alternative market. But I've felt in the last couple of years that there's a bit of a swing back with the next generation of cartoonists toward this concept of "Fuck this boring shit! Comics are supposed to be fun!" Sort of a return to this idea that you don't want to get overly pretentious. Maybe it's a bit of a reaction to all of this autobiography.
-from an interview in the Comics Journal #193