Graphic Novels

November 2, 2010 § 1 Comment

Think they’re only comic books? Think again!

I highly recommend reading the article “Graphic Novels 101” by Robin Brenner to answer the f.a.q.’s you have and to clear up some misconceptions.

Hamlet, Beowulf and even Pride & Prejudice (and I’m not talking about the one with zombies) have been turned into graphic novels over the years. Even books of the Bible have been turned into graphic novels (The Book of Genesis by R. Crumb).

Graphic novels are a combination of artwork and prose. Some may think that artwork and text go together only in children’s books, but artwork and text were joined before children’s books became a popular commodity. Illuminated manuscripts produced during the Middle Ages were such a combination where the illustration often helped tell the narrative. Never mind that art came before words with our cavemen ancestors drawing their narratives.

There are many instances of Literature & Art coming together over the centuries such as William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. In some cases the artwork alone tells the story, which is the case with the award-winning title The Arrival by Shaun Tan.

Regardless, over the past ten years graphic novels have grown exponentially in popularity and output. Universities offer classes that study graphic novels.

Listen to  & watch the podcast on graphic novels by Dr. Michael Demson from SHSU’s English Department.

Also, check out this Films on Demand video “Alternate Literary Voices & Vehicles” for more information about graphic novels.

For those of you interested in graphic novels, here are some recommendations, you can read more about these books in the October Books & Bytes:

Footnotes in Gaza by Joe Sacco DS119.7 .S29 2009
Berlin: City of Stones by Andrew Arnold PN6710 .L87 2001
Burma Chronicles by Guy Delisle PN6733 .D44 C4713 2008
73304-23-4153-6-96-8 by Thomas Ott PN6720 .O88 2008b
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang LS .Y16a
Epileptic by David B. PN6747 .B2213 2005

For other recommendations, try one of the books on these lists:

30 Essential Graphic Novels by DC Comics

Top 10 Graphic Novels by Time

500 Essential Graphic Novels

Grovel: Graphic Novel Reviews



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§ One Response to Graphic Novels

  • Redhead says:

    three cheers for graphic novels! I’ve been meaning to get my hands on that Biblical one by Crumb, I wonder if they are going to eventually do the entire thing?

    I get a lot of graphic novels from the library, but I’ve noticed they haven’t realized some graphic novels are perfectly appropriate for kids, and some really aren’t, they just put them all together.

    I’m doing graphic novel november on my blog this month, shoudl be a good time!

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