September 15, 2010

Confessions of a Graphic Novel Convert

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Before I started book blogging, I never read a graphic novel (unless you count Archie or Scrooge McDuck comics of my childhood). I had a few preconceived notions about graphic novels. When I thought of them at all, I thought of this guy:
"Worst blog ever." -Comic book guy
And yet graphic novels kept popping up on the blogs of people whose opinions I respected.  Still I resisted, poo-pooing this form of literature, "I am much too sophistimacated a reader for graphic novels. Poo-poo!" Finally, one Read-a-thon-eve, I perused my local library for quick, easy reads to get me through a day of reading, and had an idea: why not pick up a graphic novel. I had heard good things about French Milk by Lucy Knisley so I added it to my pile.

Late at night, I read it and it was good! Oh, France! Oh, food! Oh France and food! If graphic novels were like this, I could get behind that. I had an epiphany. Graphic novels weren't just about men in tights or invading aliens, they were another form of storytelling. They could be a memoir or a biography or they could make you see an old story from a new perspective. They are art, they are literature, they are both. I was converted.

Since then, I've added graphic novels to my reading repertoire. Some of my favorites beyond French Milk are Jane Eyre, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Mercury. I even have a few in my reviewing queue now: Dracula, Persepolis I & II, and (hold on to your socks) The Exile- the graphic version of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I'll be reviewing those soon. After my hesitation, I've jumped into reading them with both feet.

It's fair to say that if not for the reviews of my fellow book bloggers and Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon, I would not have given graphic novels a look and missed out on new reading experience.

26 comments :

  1. I definitely would never have read graphic novels if it weren't for book blogs. I was skeptical too at first!

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  2. I have a credit at a bookstore and THE EXILE is going to be at the top of list of purchases.

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  3. Stephanie- I'm going to be more open minded from now one.

    Beth- It looks good!

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  4. YIPPEE for graphic novels! I really wish the bookstores carried more or had them all in one spot. I always forget to look for them unless I have a specific title in mind when I shop. And heaven knows, my brain carries hundreds of tbr titles when I am in a bookstore, I usually am afraid my brain will explode. I forget abt the library, too. Shame on me.

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  5. Persepolis is really good. Also pick up Maus.

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  6. Chris I don't think if I read blogs I probably wouldn't have picked up graphic novels. Since seeing them I have been reading them here and there to break up my reading.

    I just finished the Jane Eyre one and enjoyed it.

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  7. There are so many graphic novels on my ist because of bloggers. Now I just need to actually pick some up. Great genre to spotlight.

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  8. French Milk is so wonderful! I never thought, a couple years ago, that I'd read a graphic novel.

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  9. Glad you tried a graphic novel and enjoyed it.I think its good to read things you normally wouldn't read just for the experience. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  10. Yayyy graphic novels! I'm glad you jumped onboard. I would still recommend Fables because it's a fave series of mine. I'm almost certain you'll love Persepolis.

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  11. I was the same way, but I equated graphic novels to manga which I had tried and didn't like. I've found that I love a good graphic memoir.

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  12. I still haven't tried graphic novels. Your post almost has me convinced to break down and read one.

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  13. Jane Eyre and Dorian Gray in Graphic Novel? I need to look those up! Graphic novels is a big plus from blogging for me as well.

    And love the Simpson's shoutout--I can just hear him saying "worst blog ever" :)

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  14. I've never read any graphic novels either, but I loved the movie Persepolis, so I should probably pick up the books too. Oh and I'm excited to hear how you like THE EXILE!!

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  15. I love graphic novels, but have missed some of these. Thanks for the recommendation. I second the vote for you reading "Fables", too.

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  16. This is great! I happen to love graphic novels so I'm biased. I did a review of graphic novels I love during the week of ComicCon. All tights-free so maybe there's something you might like to continue your graphic novel reading!

    http://lit-snit.blogspot.com/2010/07/comic-con-2010-review-y-last-man-by.html

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  17. Care- I always head for the library. They have a good selection now.

    Kenpen- Thanks for the rec!

    Suey- You should!

    Cindy- It was good, wasn't it?

    Amanda- Neither did I!

    Andy & Texas- I'll have to look them up.

    Kathy- I think memoirs are my faves.

    Kylee- You should and they are usually short so even if you don't like one at least you haven't wasted a lot of time.

    Trish- lol! It's just what he would say. There is no pleasing that guy.

    Michelle- Try Persepolis. It was really good.

    Erin- Thanks, I'll have a look.

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  18. Well said! I also think graphic novels can be a valuable teaching tool (I'm thinking of Maus in particular)...it's too bad some people look down on them. :-(

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  19. This sounds like my story. Thank heavens for book bloggers because I am so glad I started reading graphic novels.

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  20. :D Well you know that this post put a huge smile on my face!! I'm so glad that you've been enjoying so many great graphic novels. And there really is something out there for everyone. I just wish more people would try them!

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  21. French Milk is a great one! I've started to really like travel memoirs in graphic novel form.

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  22. Add me to the list of the converted via book blogs. In just two years my graphic novel reading now surpasses my poetry and nonfiction reads.

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  23. Jill- Yes, I've learned a lot.

    Chris- If I can like them, anyone can.

    Trisha & John- Addictive aren't they?

    Kim- I have to look for more travel memoirs.

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  24. I'm a graphic novel convert too. I've loved Maus and Watchmen and just bought French Milk. I can't wait to read it.

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  25. I started with Persepolis I and II and now I am reading my way through the Emma series by Kazuo Mori. I am really looking forward to reading The Exile (just ordered it). I wouldn't say that I go out of my way to read Graphic Novels just yet, but when I do read them I do like them.

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