Monday, November 21, 2011

Lazy Sunday - Graphic Novels

Apparently yesterday was such a lazy Sunday, I never even blogged what I meant to blog!  I needed something distracting but not intense, so I finally got to the box of graphic novels sent to me by one of my SFF Audio cohorts.  Later that day, I e-mailed a GoodReads friend about the dilemma I find in reviewing graphic novels.  I worry I don't rate them equally with books to begin with, like I'm treating them unfairly (yes, I fret about these things, call me crazy).  I think some of what I don't "like" is more of a question of familiarity with the genre, and I might like it more as I read more.  However, I might be second-guessing myself.  At this point I've read all of the Sandman, The Watchmen, Persepolis, and a few scattered random volumes.  I'm not a complete newb.  Also, I'm not convinced I care that much about superheros.

What do you read, if you read graphic novels or comics? 

Yesterday, I read the following titles:

What I liked:
  • Humor.  I enjoyed the humor in Scott Pilgrim and Wormwood very much, whether it comes from awkward kids or talking rabbits.
  • Learning about the real lives of superheroes, like Batwoman.  
  • The art, of course.  Every style fitting the story, amazing use of color (except Scott, who is black and white), and creative use of space.
What I wasn't a fan of:
  • Superheroes superhero lives.  I can't help it.  Daring feats?  Boring to me.
  • Overly preachy.  Several of these titles were.  Not that I disagreed with what they were preaching, but I don't need a didactic comic.
See... I wonder if the elements I'm not a huge fan of are just graphic novel elements, and it could be that I just don't care for graphic novels!  If the story is good, I usually enjoy it, no matter the format.

Other graphic novels I have enjoyed:


  1. I can't get into graphic novels. I've tried, but I find that I can't focus my attention on the words, especially if there are a lot of words in each frame. In the interest of full disclosure, I have the same problem with wordy comic strips. :)

    That said, I have read one graphic novel (well it was a collection) that I really really enjoyed: Bone: The Complete Cartoon Epic.

    For whatever it's worth, I don't care much about superheroes, either. I assure you, this makes me not fit in well at work. ;)

  2. "Other graphic novels I have enjoyed: ..."

    Um, something is missing there.

    If you don't like superheroes, you don't like superheroes. No problem. There's plenty of other stuff to read! I'd recommend the following:

    Locke & Key
    The Unwritten
    Phonogram (if you like pop/rock music -- hard to find)
    Return of the Dapper Men
    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (by Alan Moore, pretend the movie doesn't exist)
    V for Vendetta (by Alan Moore)
    Hellboy/B.P.R.D. (by Mike Mignola -- if you like Lovecraft)
    Why I Hate Saturn
    Echo (by Terry Moore)
    The Cape (not the NBC TV series, something completely different by Joe Hill)
    Y: The Last Man
    Sandman Mystery Theatre (not the Sandman you're thinking of, but kind of related, set in the 1930s)
    Nexus (by Mike Baron & Steve Rude)
    Death: The High Cost of Living (1993)
    Death: The Time of Your Life (1996)
    Ronin (by Frank Miller)
    Xenozoic Tales
    Cages (by Dave McKean)
    The Invisibles (by Grant Morrison)


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