Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Another Comic?

This month, after I debated with myself probably much more than I should've, I've decided that Graphic Novels is the route we are going to take this month. Now, some of you might be thinking what is a graphic novel. How is it all that different from a comic? Well, if you look at a comic and a graphic novel they do look quite similar. However, there is a difference between them. There is the strict appearance of them first. Comics are normally paperback and quite thin. Graphic Novels are usually hard bound, or bound more so like a book rather than the little staples that often hold a comic together. Graphic Novels are usually a story with a beginning, middle, and end that is told in comic format. Does that help clear it up, possibly somewhat?

Now, I wanted us to read graphic novels this month for a couple of reasons. Graphic novels are shorter and you can read them quite quickly. This time of year, with summer looming closer seems to get quite busy for many. Therefore, a graphic novel seems to be a perfect fit. I also wanted to do a graphic novel because it is a different "reading experience." When you read a book, you read the words alone and the story unfolds in your mind. We all love that reading experience because it can take you so many places. I know that sounds ridiculously cheesy, but it is completely true. The "reading experience" for a graphic novel can do the same thing, but it is different. The words and the pictures tell the story. When I read a graphic novel through my analytical mind I find that I more "tired." Let me clarify, this is not the "tired" because you just ran a marathon. This is the kind of tired you feel when you are mentally tired. Let me again clarify, this is not the kind of mental tiredness that comes after a big test, or finals week. It is a form of mental work that your body is not used to. F0r you sports enthusiasts, think about a time you have been running and training a lot. You probably could run any length of a race and feel great. However, could you jump in a pool and swim a couple miles? No! You can be in shape to run but not to swim. You could of course swim the couple of miles, but you would be a lot more exhausted than if you were to just run 5 miles. Now, you might be thinking that I am completely full of myself, and it sounds completely ridiculous to be tired from reading something with more pictures and less words than your used to. However, if you pay close attention and analyze it you will see this to be true because reading a graphic novel is a different reading experience. You have to read the words and look at the pictures for the story to unfold in your mind.

With that in mind I have chosen a couple of different graphic novels you can choose from. Those of you with kids, especially boys that don't like to read, try giving your boy a graphic novel. They have them for all grades and levels. Your child will not hesitate to read it, and they will still get some of the benefits reading can give you. Alright, I'll stay more on track here and give you a couple of different graphic novels to try, but feel free to pick up any and give this "reading experience" a chance.

This graphic novel, Bone by Jeff Smith is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel. The story line is cute, and the main character is adorable and fun. There are several in the series you can try. I have read several of them, and I have enjoyed them all. Just give it a shot. This is a graphic novel for upper elementary/middle school. The material is clean, but the content is higher.

There are several graphic novels for the lower grades as well. If you have a younger girl, try the Babymouse series. If you have a boy, try the Star Wars: Clone Wars series. I not only had these in my library and they were flying off the shelves, but I got the Star Wars ones for my nephews for Christmas and they love them. I get my nieces and nephews books for Christmas every year, but this book was the best reply I've gotten from the kids ever. Sure, the parents tell me they like the books, but I never really hear what the kids think.

Alright, I want to give you another graphic novel to try. You actually should be able to read both of these. This one is a classic story done in graphic novel format. They have these

for both the young and the old. I choose Jane Eyre this time. This one is in the Classic Comic Series which has Frankenstein, Pride and Prejudice, and much more. Give it a shot, and let us know what you think. Do you hate the classic story in graphic novel format, or was in interesting and you quite enjoyed it? This one, to the left is specifically: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, illustrated by John M. Burns.

I am excited for y'all to try Graphic Novels this month. Give it a shot, and tell me what you think. Let me know if you think I am crazy, or if you truly did notice a different kind of "reading experience." You truly notice a different "reading experience" if you read a Manga. Not only are there words and pictures, but you have to read right to left, and the pages start in the back. If you are an advanced student, give those a shot and let me know your thoughts. I can give you some Manga suggestions if you'd like.


  1. Alright, I've thought a little more about the reading experience and being "tired." Some of you may think that is crazy. I've decided for those individuals, after you finish reading, I want you to ask yourself if that was "different" from reading a chapter book. Did you notice yourself missing things unless you looked at the pic a bit closer?

    I just finished Bone again. Though, you don't have to read them in order, i think it is best that you do. It is a graphic novel, so it's good to get the background the other books before it give. All in all, Bone is good. I've read Bone before and though this was just a different one in the series, I think the character Bone is so dang cute. It is different from other graphic novels, but it is still really good.

    Now, off to start Jane Eyre. This will be the first graphic novel from a classic book that I have already read. I wonder if it'll bug me that it's in graphic novel format, or if I will enjoy it nonetheless. I was in B&N the other day and I saw they have Twilight and Cirque Du Freak as graphic novels now. Those are both books I love, but I wonder how I'd feel about the graphic novel. I guess there is only one way to find out, read it. Hence, the reason why we're reading Jane Eyre.

  2. This was my first experience with reading a book and then reading the graphic novel. I was prepared to discuss which one I liked better, and why. However, after reading both I’ve decided you can’t compare them. They are different formats that should be appreciated for that different format. The graphic novel and the novel itself both tell the same story; however, they are different formats and good for different reasons. I loved the novel b/c you become so invested with the characters. The graphic novel is a much quicker read in which you can understand the storyline so much easier.

    When a movie comes out that is based on a book one naturally wants to compare the movie to the book. I have always had a difficult time saying whether I loved the movie or the book more. I usually like them both for different reasons. The different formats allow different things to be accentuated. The action scenes in a movie are usually amazing; however, the character development in a book is unbeaten. I think this same principle applies for books and graphic novels.

    This graphic novel is really good. I think they text adaptation was fabulous. They used the original wording, but limited what words are used because the pictures tell the story as well. I didn’t feel a strong connection to the characters, and I originally pictured the characters differently than they way the graphic novel portrayed them. However, that happens with books and movies as well.

    All in all, the graphic novel was surprisingly enjoyable. It was more enjoyable than I originally expected. However, I do love the book more. I love a book with a strong character development. On another note, a book that is plot oriented rather than character oriented might be more enjoyable to read as a graphic novel.

    What did y’all think or your graphic novel “experience?”