Thursday, May 7, 2009

Booking Through Thursday - Graphic

Booking Through Thursday

Last Saturday (May 2nd) is Free Comic Book Day! In celebration of comics and graphic novels, some suggestions:

- Do you read graphic novels/comics? Why do/don’t you enjoy them?
- How would you describe the difference between “graphic novel” and “comic”? Is there a difference at all?
- Say you have a friend who’s never encountered graphic novels. Recommend some titles you consider landmark/”canonical”.

I haven't participated in the Booking Through Thursday meme for quite awhile. I usually log in and check out the topic, but I'm either late to the game or just not interested in the topic. Then today, I happened to look at the question....and thought "How Ironic is this?? Incredible Timing!"

In this post (that I made 2 days ago!), I talked about how I had just read my first 2 graphic novels....ever!! So, I guess that's a "Yes" to the first question! And I enjoyed them highly. Some of the best reading I've done all year. I do have to preface this by saying that I took a lot of time trying to decide WHAT graphic novels to read for the first time. I took into account not only topics that I enjoy (ie. fantasy/horror) and a known favorite author, but also a LOT of blogger recommendations. So I was pretty confident if I liked the medium, I would LOVE these 2. And I did!

Is there really a difference between a comic and a graphic novel?? Well, I would definitely say the price!! Graphic novels are expensive. When I think of comics, I think of the cheap little paper-covered "books" that used to be held in racks by the door of our local grocery store. Graphic novels are usually a lot longer and are bound differently. Some graphic novels are collections of a group of comics. But is there any real distinction other than this?? I would have to say, "not really". (how is that for vague?) Although it makes me feel more grown up to say Graphic Novel, in all actuality, it really IS a comic!!

Recommended titles? Definitely see my previous post. The Fables series by Bill Willingham is wonderful. Modern day setting with fairy tale characters!! LOVED it. And The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman that I started is equally fantastic, although very dark. There are tons of Super Hero graphic novels. The Watchmen by Alan Moore is definitely an icon. A cult classic, to be sure. And Maus by Art Spiegelman actually won a Pulitzer Prize!! But I am not a good person to ask this question to because I'm just a newbie. Trust me...there are lots of bloggers out there that can answer this question way better than me!

Happy Thursday!


Yvonne said...

I read comics as a kid, but not as an adult. Never read a graphic novel, but reading all these posts is making me want to try one.

JoAnn said...

Well, that's good timing! I enjoyed reading your post from a couple days ago. I'm learning a lot about graphic novels today.

Debi said...

How funny...that is good timing!

Jess said...

I don't read a ton of graphic novels but I loved Epileptic by David B. It was incredible.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Fables. It's a great series.

Literature Crazy said...

In my post, here, I link to a book that I got from my local library that talks about the best graphic novels of all time (in that they shaped the culture of the genre).

I also had a slightly different take on the comic v. graphic novel question.

Glad you've "come over to the dark side" of reading.

Kat said...

I think Gaiman's "Sandman" was among the graphic novels that made people read them in the first place. Alot of people overlook graphic novels thanks to the mindset that it's for kids, but many graphic novels contain mature storylines. Glad you've enjoyed the ones you've read and decided to dive a little more deeper into it! Cheers! :D

Anonymous said...

Neil Gaiman's Sandman books are on my wishlist, and your the second one to mention Maus and The Fable, so I may have to look those up. I suppose maybe the extent of the artwork is another difference between the two.

Ana S. said...

"I would have to say, "not really". (how is that for vague?) Although it makes me feel more grown up to say Graphic Novel, in all actuality, it really IS a comic!!"

See, this is why I love you, Stephanie :D You say it all and you say it perfectly.

I guess psychologically we feel like we're spending less money by buying an individual comic, but if you add them all up, it's probably about as much as the collected graphic novel!

Grad said...

To be honest, I didn't realize what a "graphic novel" was. I'd never heard the term until I entered into the blogosphere. I don't think I've read any, although, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Selznick, might qualify as part graphic novel. I was blown away by it.

Stephanie said...

Yvonne - Until last week, I hadn't either. But I was so impresed with what I've read so far, I'm going to read a lot more!

JoAnn - probably not learning much from me!! But thanks!

Debi - Weird, isn't it?? Somebody wants me to read Graphic Novels!

Jess - I'll have to look up Epileptic. Thanks!

thatsthebook - I loved Fables. I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of Vol. 2 from the library!

Heather - The Dark Side, huh?? Glad to be here!!

Stephanie said...

Kat - The Sandman certainly seemed to be pretty cutting edge to me. I can see why it's gotten so much attention.

thekookaidmom - I have to say the artwork in the Sandman is definitely a cut above the rest. It's wonderful!!

Nymeth - Ah....Thanks!! :)

Grad - I have a copy of Hugo from the library right now. It looks really good. Are you enjoying it?