Booking Through Thursday

Do you read graphic novels/comics? Why do/don’t you enjoy them?  How would you describe the difference between “graphic novel” and “comic?” Is there a difference at all?  Say you have a friend who’s never encountered graphic novels. Recommend some titles you consider landmark/”canonical.”

I’ve actually blogged about this before, but it was a long time ago, so I’ll do it again.  I love comic books.  My favorites are the Justice League and Legion of Superheroes over at DC, and the X-Men and Spiderman over at Marvel.  I really like what Joss Whedon is doing with the continuation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in comic book form, and I’m actually enjoying the continuation and expansion of the Star Wars saga into the far future with the “Legacy” series.

Here’s the tricky part, though.  I can’t actually read them.  I don’t know if there is a technical word for it, but when it comes to comic books, I have some kind of reading disorder.  For some reason, my brain can’t process the pictures and the words at the same time in order to follow the story.  When I open a comic book, I get overwhelmed by the images, and I end up just idly leafing through without reading any of the dialogue.

Webcomics are a different matter.  I suppose it’s because you can only read one “page” at a time on the screen, and I can process better without the distraction of the rest of the “book,” even if I have to reread it three or four times.  I’m currently following Gunnerkrigg Court, drawn and written by Brit Tom Siddell, who is an incredibly talented artist and a brilliant storyteller.  You should check it out.

Meanwhile, I’ll read Wikipedia’s summaries of the other comic books I like, so I’m not completely in the dark about what’s going on.  *Sigh.*  I tell you, it takes real talent to fail as a comic book geek.

5 thoughts on “Graphic

  1. Heather May 7, 2009 / 10:44 am

    I’ve got some tips on my post about how to venture into the world of graphic novels, if you’re interested in doing so. I’m very much a literary fiction person myself, so I had to first get a glimpse into the artistry behind them and then I could appreciate them as a wholly separate type of art, rather than comparing them to novels (which helps me know how to read them).

    You can check out my post here.

  2. Popin May 7, 2009 / 10:51 am

    I’ve heard of that problem before when it comes to comic books. I’ve seen one graphic novel that was told only in pictures and didn’t have words in it at all, but sadly, I forget what the title of that book was.

    And if you’re looking up comic book info on wikipedia, then wouldn’t that make you a good comic book geek? 🙂

    ~ Popin

  3. Jessica May 7, 2009 / 11:09 am

    I haven’t read a ton of graphic novels, but I loved Epileptic by David B. It was just incredible.

  4. Novroz May 7, 2009 / 7:46 pm

    Hahahaha…sorry for laughing!! I meet some people like you who always got confused reading a comics…and reading manga (japanese comics) makes it harder cos you have to read it like Japanese people do…from right to left.

    I don’t like superheroes comics but I love reading manga

  5. Kat May 7, 2009 / 8:23 pm

    Most American graphic novels confuse me with the layout of visuals and text, which is one reason why I prefer reading Japanese comics (translated, of course). Still, occasionally I do read titles from DC and Marvel and enjoy them. Batman’s Hush is among my favorites, among others. Cheers!

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