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Graphic Novel Reader? (or want to be?)

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message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael (mkindness) | 537 comments Mod
Last year I read nothing but graphic novels for the month of September and I used 500 Essential Graphic Novels to guide me. This year I'm going to scatter my comics throughout the year but I'm going to keep getting some recommendations from this book.

For anyone else who wants to use this book, I've set up a group here on Goodreads. Head on over, check it out and read a graphic novel (or 500!). I'm hoping we'll get a great group of folks over there, a mix of comics readers and comics newbies.


message 2: by Dottie (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) | 130 comments Have avoided graphics nearly as rigorously as I've shunned sci-fi/fantasy/magical realism and so on -- but I do own one graphic novel -- a volume of Proust. My daughters urge Maus and others, many of those which you have referenced in podcast/blog or here. I just haven't actually decided to dive in. Since I own the Proust and it would be a nice refreshment of the work which I have read and loved, it seems logical to start with that one. I am slowly adding resolutions to the year's reading plan, it seems.

I'm going to check out the book and call it to my librarian daughter's attention as she is a fan of graphics. Keeping up with one's adult offspring can be a challenge in itself, by the way.




message 3: by Lee (new)

Lee (leekat) | 13 comments Hi Michael, I read two of the Persopolis books last year and really loved them. I would like to try some more so I will check out your group.


message 4: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 89 comments I've thumbed through a few very popular graphic novels in the bookstore and just couldn't see myself reading one. They're not linear enough for me and the graphics are very distracting. I think I'm just the wrong generation for them.


message 5: by Ann (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
Sandi,
I had exactly the same sentiments when Michael wanted me to read a graphic novel. I read 3, and after just a few pages of Persepolis, all of my prior thoughts were proven wrong. I would strongly recommend starting with Persepolis, and you may find yourself a fan of the form, as I have no become.


message 6: by Josh (new)

Josh (jchristie) | 8 comments I agree with Ann; graphic novels are really just another way of telling a story, not a "genre" like many people assume. While there are plenty of superhero and sci-fi stories, there are examples from every genre in fiction and non-fiction - from heartbreaking memoirs to romantic fiction. Like many types of books, I'm confident there aren't many people that wouldn't like graphic novels as a whole - just a lot who haven't found the right one yet. Sandi and Dottie, hopefully you'll swing by the 500 Essential Graphic Novels group and check out the discussions we're having about the books. You never know, you might find a new favorite somewhere among those 500 titles!


message 7: by Sandi (last edited Jan 20, 2009 12:08PM) (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 89 comments Ann wrote: "Sandi,
I had exactly the same sentiments when Michael wanted me to read a graphic novel. I read 3, and after just a few pages of Persepolis, all of my prior thoughts were proven wrong. I would stro..."


I'll add that one to my to-read list. Do you have a link? I don't seem to be finding it with a search on "Persepolis".



message 8: by Dottie (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) | 130 comments Persepolis 1 The Story of a ChildhoodPersepolis 2 The Story of a Return

There it is in two parts.


Or here it is The Complete Persepolis in an all-in-one volume.

And I'd never seen this -- Persepolis, tome 3 -- a third volume? But there it is.


message 9: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 89 comments OH! I saw those, I didn't see anything that indicated that they were graphic novels. Then again, I didn't look too close. The omnibus is going on my to-read list.


message 10: by Dottie (last edited Jan 20, 2009 01:24PM) (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) | 130 comments Yeah, it's kind of buried in the description that these are graphics. Not surprising you didn't connect them.

If these aren't in my shelves, i'll have to add them. My daughters have been urging me to read both Maus and Persepolis from day one and I've not done so yet. I have pulled the one and only graphic I own from the shelf and put it on the currently reading shelf -- that's my progress so far.


message 11: by Dottie (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) | 130 comments I am very much enjoying the graphic of Proust based on the Combray section of his work. I will likely go back and examine each picture minutely for the details but thus far I'm finding them very evocative of the Proust book and even in the case of one large illustration on pgs.16, 17 taking me back to the place itself. I am not so certain that the text which was used is enough in some places or evokes the meaning which I took from reading the original but it is close enough for the most part that so far I will not register this as a complaint.

I think I'm cheating in beginning with this book in that I have read the book upon which it is based. Better measure would have been to read a graphic which was written as such originally. That will be my next step.


message 12: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (sawinkler) | 45 comments Fantastic idea, Michael. I've only ever read "super-hero" graphic novels and love the idea of branching out. Plus, this list of 500 will give my wife a never-ending supply of gift ideas.

See you at the new group.


message 13: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I had the book Fun Home on my reading list, and upon checking the catalog at my local library I was very disappointed to see it was located in the graphic novel section. I sighed, but decided to give it a go and read something I wouldn't normally pick up. I was quite surprised by how much I loved the book - I read the entire thing in one night with a booklight this past summer (husband snoozing next to me - perks of teaching!)I loved the style of this memoir with its darkness and sarcasm and pain.

I just started listening to the Podcast from the beginning and I am going to read the ones mentioned -Persepolis 1/2, Pride of Baghdad, and Cancer Vixen. Thanks for the recommendations!


message 14: by Ann (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
Yay, Stephanie! I have about 50 pages of Fun Home left, and am saving it as a reward (in the middle of sales conference reading of manuscripts).


message 15: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I hope you LOVE it! Bechdel is very talented!


message 16: by Summer (new)

Summer | 49 comments Stephanie wrote: "I had the book Fun Home on my reading list, and upon checking the catalog at my local library I was very disappointed to see it was located in the graphic novel section."

My local library shelved it in the section with the biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs where it belongs.




message 17: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Yes, I think this is a difficult one to categorize. It just put me off at first because I had never picked up a graphic novel, but now I am interested in reading more.


message 18: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 279 comments I read Watchmen last year, and I was surprised by how much I loved it. I have been looking for another graphic novel to read, and it sounds as if Fun Home should go in my TBR stack.


message 19: by Carol (Bookaria) (new)

Carol (Bookaria) (bookaria) I listened recently to the podcast where Michael recommended Fables and have to say that I am absolutely loving the series.

I plan to pick up Y: The Last Man after I'm done with Fables.


message 20: by Rita (new)

Rita | 147 comments My son owns Watchmen and is constantly telling me how good it is and that I should read it.


message 21: by Michael (new)

Michael (mkindness) | 537 comments Mod
Yay Carol! I'm so glad you are loving Fables. I just think it gets stronger and stronger as you read. I bet you'll love Y as well!

Rita: Watchmen isn't for everyone (very, very dark), but I think it's pretty brilliant.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Carol wrote: "I listened recently to the podcast where Michael recommended Fables and have to say that I am absolutely loving the series. "

I read the first-in-series of Fables, LEGENDS IN EXILE, last year and loved it! I don't know why I didn't pick up the next one, ANIMAL FARM, right away, but I think it's definitely going into my next order!

STITCHES by David Smalls, PETER AND MAX BY Bill Willingham and, the BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER OMNIBUS, VOL 1 by Joss Whedon are all on mymy wishlist too.

I did I manage to overlook this thread all this time?


message 23: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 279 comments Watchmen is very dark, but it is one of my favorites.


message 24: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne (adriennemarietheresa) | 12 comments Thumbs up to Watchmen, and hey Michael, how come neither you or Anne have a "Big Ideas" bookshelf? I loved your suggestion to bookstores about having a section by the same name. Now you must lead by example. lol

ps. I'm thinking of this because I've been looking at these books and adding them.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

This came across my Twitter feed today and may be of interest to graphic novel readers:

A Cartoon Depiction of Real Iranian Life http://nyti.ms/bxUlW0

The comic will run starting Friday, February 19, 2010 at:
http://www.zahrasparadise.com/

It will be collated into a book to be published next year.


message 26: by Eric (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
I'm a lifelong comic book lover and am unashamed to call comics comics, rather than the highfalutin' name of graphic novel. I could recommend any number of ways to go, but you can't go wrong starting with anything by Alan Moore.

I'll give some book/graphic novel analogues:

Gabriel Garcia Marquez=Gilbert Hernandez

Richard Stark/Lee Child/Lawrence Block=Frank Miller/Ed Brubaker/Darwyn Cooke

Vladimir Nabokov=Alan Moore

Thomas Pynchon=Rick Veitch


message 27: by Eric (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
Saul Bellow=Will Eisner

Marcel Proust=Chris Ware

Neil Gaiman = Neil Gaiman

Harry Potter = Fables

The Dresden Files = Hellblazer


message 28: by Eric (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
Stephen King= Locke and Key, Moore's Swamp Thing, EC Comics reprints

Philip K Dick = Grant Morrison


message 29: by Eric (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
If you like Kurosawa films, you'd love Lone Wolf & Cub

People interested in sixties freakiness would do well to track down reprints of underground comics by R Crumb and Gilbert Shelton.


message 30: by Ann (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
Eric wrote: "I'm a lifelong comic book lover and am unashamed to call comics comics, rather than the highfalutin' name of graphic novel. I could recommend any number of ways to go, but you can't go wrong starti..."

Eric - this is awesome! Wonder if you'd like to expand this a little bit as a guest blog post for Books on the Nightstand? No pressure, no deadline -- but I think our readers would find it really cool.


message 31: by Ann (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
Tanya wrote: "This came across my Twitter feed today and may be of interest to graphic novel readers:

A Cartoon Depiction of Real Iranian Life http://nyti.ms/bxUlW0

The comic will run starting Friday, February..."


Tanya, thanks! My book group is meeting Thurs, and we are discussing Persepolis, so this is great info to share with them!



message 32: by Ann (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
Adrienne wrote: "Thumbs up to Watchmen, and hey Michael, how come neither you or Anne have a "Big Ideas" bookshelf? I loved your suggestion to bookstores about having a section by the same name. Now you must lead b..."

Oh,that would make too much sense!
I actually have a blog post half-written that lists more "big idea" books, but I do like the idea of a bookshelf. thanks!



message 33: by Carol (Bookaria) (last edited Feb 18, 2010 08:19PM) (new)

Carol (Bookaria) (bookaria) Eric wrote: "Saul Bellow=Will Eisner

Marcel Proust=Chris Ware

Neil Gaiman = Neil Gaiman

Harry Potter = Fables

The Dresden Files = Hellblazer"


Fables rocks! I highly recommend it! Thanks Eric.



message 34: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne (adriennemarietheresa) | 12 comments Ann wrote: "Adrienne wrote: "Thumbs up to Watchmen, and hey Michael, how come neither you or Anne have a "Big Ideas" bookshelf? I loved your suggestion to bookstores about having a section by the same name. No..."

I made just such a bookshelf for myself, but only have one book to go there right now. Can't wait for your blog post!



message 35: by Michael (new)

Michael (mkindness) | 537 comments Mod
I love your comparisons Eric!! Yes, please... write a guest post for us!


message 36: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Railey | 245 comments I just discovered graphic novels myself last year when I decided to read Watchmen. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it and how deep (and dark) it was. Since then, I've been experimenting with them. I read The Unwritten and loved it. I also read Stitches over the weekend. It was wonderful. I have Fables and Persepolis and Maus on my lists. I'll also have to check out the 500 list mentioned earlier.

Oh, and like any good Browncoat, I've read the Serenity/Firefly graphic novels.


message 37: by Michael (new)

Michael (mkindness) | 537 comments Mod
you've made some good choices there Melissa! I'd also recommend Y: The Last Man.

(go Browncoats!)


message 38: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I highly recommend Stitches and Cancer Vixen: A True Story, memoirs told in the graphic novel format. Both are extremely moving.


message 39: by Linda (new)

Linda | 2753 comments Mod
I just read Stitches yesterday. My first graphic book since I read illustrated classics when I was in my single digits, half a century ago. Impressive. I will definitely look for more.

Linda


message 40: by John (new)

John (taborcarn) | 45 comments I read Preludes and Nocturnesyesterday. I used to read comic books as a kid, but this is the first graphic novel I have read in a long time.


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