Creepy use to run a series about how comic books were made. In #70 (1975), they tackled this topic:
Wait. What was that last one?!?
It's like sighting a dodo, or finding Amelia Earhart!!
Somehow, someway, thought balloons are now verbotten across the entire industry. Nope, you have to have dramatic self-narration captions, as characters no longer think. They narrate their lives, as if they were dictating their memoirs, even during moments of crisis. They are graphic novels after all--and novels don't have thought balloons!
I'm not saying it's a terrible stylistic choice. But every single time, in every single book? Seriously, who thought that this group-think would somehow take over the entire industry? Is it a delayed Watchmen effect? Are there writers and artists trying to turn in work using thought balloons, but editors are beating them back?
I think the over/under for the disappearance for the speech balloons is 5 years. Soon comics will be nothing but hundreds of captions--dozens of multi-colored, multi-fonted captions filling every page.
Yeah, I'm certainly wrong. But 15 years ago, you would have said the same thing to someone predicting the demise of thought balloons, wouldn't you?