"Last Saturday (May 2nd) was Free Comic Book Day! In celebration of comics and graphic novels, some suggestions: 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”."The reason this is serendipitous is because today's suggestion of my Book Lover's Page-a-Day Calendar is Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. I wasn't 100% sure this was something I'd like, but I checked it out on GoodReads and then on Amazon.com (where I read the first couple of panels) and had to put it on my wish list. I loved the idea of a graphic memoir.
For those who are on the fence about Graphic Novels/Comics, here are my tips and insights:
- I read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and The Astonishing Adventures of Fan Boy and Goth Girl, both of which involve much comic enthusiasm and got me interested in the artistry behind comics and graphic novels.
- The first graphic novel I read was Watchmen (after I saw the movie because I didn't get around to it before-hand), and I loved it. Generally I don't like reading books after the movie because the adaptation has ruined something for me, but this was so different--graphic novels may just work that way because they're translated better. Actually, Watchmen (as a movie) was an interesting social document, but the graphic novel actually took this further, in my opinion.
- I also checked out a book from the library (Graphic Novels: Everything You Need to Know) about how graphic novels are made and some landmark/"canonical" graphic novels that were pretty inspiring regarding the impetus behind the genre. (Check out a couple of pages of that book on Amazon.com.)
- Recently the female blogger at Books on the Nightstand did a post about a graphic novel interpretation of Pride and Prejudice that she picked up for Free Comic Book Day and the link to the artwork panels were superb. I'm considering picking that up to get a different, but accurate, portrayal of this beloved story.