Howard Jacobson has an essay in the Guardian asking why comic novels aren't taken more seriously. He gives examples of funny moments from Anna Karenina and Little Dorrit.....which seems to me to sort of conflate what might be funny in a book that's about so much life it can't help but include the funny parts and what's meant to be a comic book.
I got to the essay via Maud Newton who thinks maybe Muriel Spark is too funny to get the respect she deserves. (I'm a Spark fan, but I don't think that's why Spark isn't taken more seriously.) Anyway, it's all interesting because it's all about how people don't think that comic and complex can go together.