500 Essential Graphic Novels discussion

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message 1: by Dottie (last edited Jan 22, 2009 12:24PM) (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) I said in my review of my first graphic that I felt I was cheating because it is based on a novel which I've read. In fact I bought the graphic because it was a graphic interpretation/adaptation of the first section (Combray) of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. I have had it on my shelf for quite a while and never sat down to actually read it.

I finished it last night and am happy to report that it went pretty well. I did wonder if that was due at least in some part to knowing the story in its original guise. But I did find the drawings to be well-related to the text and in one place one of the larger pictures took me back to the town which served as the model for Proust's Combray which I had actually visited some years ago. It was obvious to me that the artist had seen the place for himself.

Since my daughters have been urging certain graphics for years, I will likely try one of those next but thus far, though I am a highly visually oriented person and love color, I'm not certain I will become a true fan of graphic novels/books.

But I'm at least giving them a whirl which can't be too bad a result.


message 2: by Michael (new)

Michael (mkindness) at least you're trying Dottie and we appreciate you sharing your thoughts here!


message 3: by Lee (new)

Lee (leekat) Dottie,
Yesterday while at the library I read Shaun Tan's The Arrival and was so moved I cried at the end. There is no text, just beautiful drawings and you can read it in about a half hour.

I also read Embroideries by the author of Persepolis and was laughing my head off. I would recommend this one for the ladies because it's like a good old fashioned gossip session about men and sex.



message 4: by Dottie (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) Lee, The Arrival looks interesting and Embroideries is already on my list to check out.


message 5: by Lee (new)

Lee (leekat) Dottie, The Arrival was really wonderful and if my little library had it, I'm sure yours would. The author has a fanciful imagination.


message 6: by Lee (new)

Lee (leekat) I also brought home Maus I A Survivor's Tale My Father Bleeds History to try on Michael and Josh's recommendation. I'll let you know how that goes too.


message 7: by Josh (new)

Josh (jchristie) | 4 comments Mod
Glad you folks are dipping your toes into the realm of graphic novels!

Dottie, don't feel like you're "cheating" reading a graphic novel of Proust. I certainly understand starting out with something familiar - the first comics and graphic novels I read were based on my favorite movies and TV shows! I hope you don't think of it as becoming a "fan" of graphic novels, but rather adding just one more way to find and consume stories you enjoy!

Lee, I can't wait to read The Arrival - awesome that you enjoyed it so much. Hopefully you're enjoying Maus as well.


message 8: by Lee (new)

Lee (leekat) Josh, I think your comments are spot on. I'm so happy to have 'discovered' this wonderful way of consuming stories. I consider myself a visual person and I know Dottie shares my love of design as well. Some of the imagery in The Arrival has stayed with me and will for a long time.


message 9: by Michael (new)

Michael (mkindness) I just requested The Arrival from my library system... Thanks Lee!


message 10: by Lee (new)

Lee (leekat) Teehee - My pleasure Michael!


message 11: by Dottie (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) I picked up The Arrival at the library this evening along with three other books -- one of which I read and put into the return conveyor before we left for home -- what can I say?


message 12: by Dottie (last edited Feb 13, 2009 09:41AM) (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) Well, I have something to say about The Arrival certainly! What I have to say is Wow! I loved the art -- I loved looking at the shadings, shapes, color variations. I loved examining the many faces and how though many ethnic groups are there, not a one of them seems to pop out as a stereotypical look which we've seen previously -- Asian? yes, there is Asian there but an amalgam of Asian. Eastern European? Africans? African Americans? Islanders? Oh yes, they are there -- again there are amalgams. The detail is beyond what I could have imagined. Are we in any country we know? Not so far as I can tell. Are we FROM any country we know? Again, not so far as I could tell.
Are we in the far future? It rather looks as though we might be? Is the story sci-fi/fantasy/magical realism? Well, now, that's a question, isn't it? I am thinking the answer is no. I believe this the arrival is one which has happened over and over and over from the beginning of human time and continues to happen and will continue to happen. What an amazing story to tell with only those glorious pictures!

Is this the review of a convert? Possibly. But The Arrival may be a very difficult measure for graphics this reader will pick up in the future.

ETA: Some of the drawings detail brought Hieronymous Bosch to my mind. Just an observation!

Another thing I really found appealing was the way the book is made to resemble an antique photo album/journal -- the metal or leather corners and adornments, etc.


message 13: by Scott (new)

Scott (slip81) | 4 comments I'm gonna have to see if my store has this when I go in tomorrow, I've been wanting to check it out for quite some time.


message 14: by Michael (new)

Michael (mkindness) Definitely do Scott, it's just beautiful to look at!

By "your store," do you mean you work at a bookstore? Which one?


message 15: by Scott (new)

Scott (slip81) | 4 comments I work at a Borders. But not a big one, one of the smaller in mall ones.


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