On Reading Graphic Novels discussion

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Memoir as Graphic Novel

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message 1: by Alien (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:20AM) (new)

Alien  Citizen | 46 comments Mod
What do you think the pros and cons are of writing your memoir as a graphic novel? Does the visual aspect leave less for the imagination or limit our understanding of the story in any way or does it only add to it?

Also, I'd like to start a list of memoirs in this format. Let me know if you think some book or another doesn't fit the category.

Graphic Memoirs:
Brooklyn Dreams
Maus
Persepolis
...What else?


message 2: by Luke (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:20AM) (new)

Luke | 10 comments I don't know if this really counts but Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Boy in the World has the feel of a memoir and is heartbreaking. I think the advantage of a graphic novel memoir is that panels do not require words so there is a lot of space to convey emotion through art instead of words. That really allows a reader to imagine their reaction to a similar situation and creates some empathy.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

The advantage of _Jimmy Corrigan_ is it was visually brilliant and fictionally marvelous. I've recently become overwhelmed and bored by the glut of navel-gazing memoir graphic novels. For every _Maus_, there's yet another tale of some Midwest wannabe cartoonist suffering through romantic doldrums and boring jobs.

Dude, been there, seen that. Write a story, eh?


message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:20AM) (new)

Graphic Memoirs:
Brooklyn Dreams
Maus
Persepolis
Fun Home
Blankets


message 5: by Alien (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:21AM) (new)

Alien  Citizen | 46 comments Mod
Graphic Memoirs (Master List, updated):

Brooklyn Dreams
Maus
Persepolis
Fun Home
Blankets
Chicken with Plums ( does this count? It's a story from Satrapi's Great-Uncle's life)
Mendel's Daughter
Cancer Vixen: A True Story
We Are On Our Own
Autobiographix
Sarajevo
Palestine
...

I want to add Deogratias: A Tale of Rwanda but while (like Maus, Persepolis, or Mendel's daughter) it is historical, it is not the memoir of one person per se.


message 6: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:22AM) (new)

I'm new to graphic novels and comics. I just finished both Fun Home and Blankets. For me, this medium is extremely effective. Depending on the skill of the artist, both words and imagary can be equally as precise. In a traditional text based format, readers create the world much more in their minds obviously, and perhaps that is a more personal experience. Though I experienced more sensation and emotion reading these graphic novels than any memoir I can remember reading before...I say it's a tie.


message 7: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:23AM) (new)

Alex Cunningham | 1 comments "Autobiographix" is an excellent collection from Dark Horse a few years back that works as a "reader" for the genre. There're travelogues, "Midwest wannabe cartoonist suffering through romantic doldrums and boring jobs" stories (as Brendan noted), funny stories, even a recipe.

Let's also add "Stuck Rubber Baby" (as fictionalized memoir) and Joe Sacco's Sarajevo books (which are reportage/new journalism, but I call 'em memoir because he's such a part of them).


message 8: by Alien (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:24AM) (new)

Alien  Citizen | 46 comments Mod
Thanks for the Joe Sacco reference. Palestine is exactly the graphic novel I was looking for. I think I'll start a new thread on political graphic novels.


message 9: by Alien (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:24AM) (new)

Alien  Citizen | 46 comments Mod
In We Are On Our Own, "Miriam Katin retells the story of her and her Mother's escape on foot from the Nazi invasion of Budapest."


message 10: by Alien (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:24AM) (new)

Alien  Citizen | 46 comments Mod
So, has anyone else noticed that there are memoirs about the ghettos of Warsaw, Germany, Palestine, etc. but none (apparently) about the ghettos of America?


message 11: by Luke (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:24AM) (new)

Luke | 10 comments Perhaps it is because as americans we discourage literacy and creativity by attatching too many dollar signs to them.


message 12: by Alien (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:24AM) (new)

Alien  Citizen | 46 comments Mod
Maybe it's because America wants to pretend it's all streets paved in gold and that equality and freedom follows the citizenry like halos over their heads. I'd like to see a graphic novel about someone's experience during Hurricane Katrina.


message 13: by Luke (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:28AM) (new)

Luke | 10 comments An american Barefoot Gen? Which i suppose i should have mentioned before as its a friggin amazing memoir manga.


message 14: by Alien (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:28AM) (new)

Alien  Citizen | 46 comments Mod
Hmmm, will have to check that out.


message 15: by Alien (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:28AM) (new)

Alien  Citizen | 46 comments Mod
Okay, Barefoot Gen: Life After Hiroshima I see but I don't know where to find this American Barefoot Gen that you speak of. Help me out, Luke?


message 16: by Pinky (new)

Pinky | 4 comments While I don't think that this fits into the Memoir genre, per se, due to the lack of complete narratives, I would like to point out that http://www.comicbookproject.org/, which Dark Horse publishes, is a great example of the power of Comic Books and non-fiction narratives. For those that aren't familiar, The Comic Book Project is an after school programme that got started through Colombia University's Teacher's College where kids write their own comic books about their own social issues and publish them.
So I have to say that I think that the realm of graphic novels is wonderfully ideal for memoirs, just on the plain fact that there are so many things that cannot be expressed with words, and as a fellow poster commented, you can express it in a panel. I think this is why graphic novels as a whole is so powerful and captivating.


message 17: by le bricoleur (new)

le bricoleur Boyle (le_bricoleur) | 8 comments My apologies for starting a duplicate thread.

Here are my favourites from the other thread:

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic - Alison Bechdel
http://www.amazon.com/Fun-Home...

Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story - Frederik Peeters
http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Pil...

Skim - Mariko & Jillian Tamaki
http://www.amazon.com/Skim-Mar...

Opposable Thumbs - Dean Haspiel
http://www.amazon.com/Opposabl...

Blankets - Craig Thompson
http://www.amazon.com/Blankets...

These next selections aren't exactly autobiographical memoirs but they narrate the stories of not-so-super-men and less-than-wonderous women.

Sleepwalk and Other Stories - Adrian Tomine
http://www.amazon.com/Sleepwal...

Tricked - Alex Robinson
http://www.amazon.com/Tricked-...

Buddy Does Seattle - Peter Bagge
http://www.amazon.com/Seattle-...




message 18: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jessicagb) | 2 comments Need More Love by Aline Kominsky-Crumb
Cancer Made Me A Shallower Person by Miriam Engleberg


message 19: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jessicagb) | 2 comments Also, Rent Girl by Michelle Tea


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