The Sunday Salon: Stories Through Pictures

I had an ‘odd’ week in reading.  Most of the week was spent with Emma, but I also managed a couple of short reads – The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss and the first volume of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman graphic novel.  All three will get full reviews this week, but reading a classic novel, a high concept novel, and a graphic novel at the same time was definitely an interesting reading experience.  What struck me most was how terrible I am at graphic novels.

In college I read Maus II and enjoyed it – mainly because I had help and guidance from an amazing professor.  But other than a few Buffy comics, my experience with graphic novels is zilch.  And I find them difficult to follow.  Sometimes I read the story/dialogue out of order because I get disoriented and lost.  Does this happen to anyone else?  I assume it gets better with further reading and admit to feeling more comfortable during the second half of The Sandman.  You would think pictures would make a story more accessible and easier to follow, but I don’t always find this true which is kind of confounding.  Do you agree?  Disagree?

I’d like to gain some perspective by exploring this genre more heavily so I need recommendations!  I already want to read Persepolis and Anya’s Ghost, but what else is there?  Should I continue on with The Sandman?  And what about manga?  What’s that all about?  Has anyone re-read a graphic novel retelling of a book they loved?

Next week, I plan on finishing Emma and reading Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.  I also just started a series I’ve been wanting to read for some time, The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger.  Started Soulless last night and find it quite humorous so far.  Has anyone else read these books?

I hope everyone had a stupendous week and may your Sundays be filled with rainbows, unicorns, and books!

6 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: Stories Through Pictures

  1. I’ve read a few graphic novels, but not many. Of course, some are better than others. I read both volumes of Persepolis and Anya’s Ghost last year. I preferred Persepolis, because Anya’s Ghost just seemed a bit young. I like the juxtaposition of a serious subject with the format of a graphic novel. Another one to try is Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. It’s a memoir of her growing up in a family with lots of secrets.

  2. I fell in love with graphic novels when I read Maus, and I followed it up with the Persepolis books. Beyond that, I would wholeheartedly recommend American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. It’s YA and a prize winner, but it’s so so so so so good on so many levels. I use it in the education/children’s lit class I teach at a local university. I also wrote my Masters thesis on the Fables series by Bill Willingham, so I’d highly recommend it. It’s a fun, smart takeoff on traditional fairy tales.

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