I seem to have several taboo reader habits: reading YA as an adult, audiobooks, and--the subject of today's post--graphic novels. I'm relatively new to graphic novels, as I've only been enjoying them since December 2014. But just as with audiobooks, I'm often taken aback by the negative reaction I receive when I mention them. In fact, an online discussion I was involved in regarding graphic novels yielded a comment that claimed they were the video games of the book world (note: I also fancy myself a gamer), a waste of time and killer of brain cells.
The thing with graphic novels is that they have pictures. And you know what? I actually had to teach myself how to read these correctly because of the pictures. That's right. I had to retrain my mind because I was reading all the words, but missing out on everything else. Those pictures are there for a reason. You need to observe the images to get the whole picture (no pun intended). Facial expressions, someone creeping up on someone else, objects in the scene, etc. are all on the page without being in the wording. I found that without looking at the pictures for full context, those words didn't make sense most of the time.
Graphic novels, just like audiobooks, require a different set of reading skills. Observation, for one, and interpretation of what you've observed that isn't written down. It's like reading body language and facial cues, not just the inflection of the spoken word. Not everyone is great at reading others, though, so graphic novels aren't for everyone.
In case you're interested in expanding your taboo reader habits, here are some graphic novels that I can recommend:
- Revenge: the Origin of Emily Thorne (my first graphic novel)
- Sandman by Neil Gaiman
- Fables (awesome for fans of fairy tales)
- Amulet (MG graphic novel series that my daughter loved and insisted I read)
The Baron also suggested:
- Preacher (he cautions that it is not family friendly)
- Locke & Key
Other popular ones you may be interested in:
- Y the Last Man
- The Walking Dead
- V for Vendetta
- Scott Pilgrim
So, do you read graphic novels? What is your favorite? And if you haven't read any, why not?