Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Have You Read These Graphic Novels?

Time magazine published a two-part series on graphic novels. In the second part, the writers list 25 graphic novels that a well-rounded collection should include. I'm interested in knowing more about these from readers of them. I'd also like to hear from teachers who would recommend, perhaps, a list of 25 or more that secondary school students could or should read.


Anonymous said...

Louann, I am using the anonymous option because I was it would not go through otherwise. I have read Maus I and II, and although I was sceptical at first, I think these novels are really effective and powerful representations of the Holocaust. I lkie Maus I in particualrly because it does a really effective job of embodying the feeling of persecution that went on in the Holocaust. So, I am glad that I finally decided to read them.


Rhea said...

The comments from librarians at the end of the book list were thought provoking. It is interesting how many problems people have with defining and accepting this genre. Steve Svecz, a librarian who strongly dislikes the term "graphic novel," made the interesting point that many people make the mistake of "associating a type of content with the form." This was mentioned in response to Art Spiegelman's wish that his book not be placed on the same shelf as "less serious" graphic novels. This raises questions about the manner in which bookstores and libraries are organized. Should there be a "graphic novel" section in which all graphic novels can be found? Can the organizational system have a profound effect on a consumer's perception of the material contained within each section? Is definition really the central debate over graphic novels? Is the problem with the term "graphic novel" related to the fact that the association between from and content is part of the explicit definition? I think we all make the “mistake” of associating form with content which can lead to taking things for granted. Repetition, reliance on concrete definitions, and patterned thinking are all culprits of overlooking the content of something by making a biased assumption based on the preconceived notions we hold about its form.

Anonymous said...

I also found the comments at the end of the book list quite interesting. One of the things that I keep thinking about, is why are graphic novels shelved (either in bookstores or libraries) in their own section. I find this convenient when I am looking for a graphic novel, but I also think that it is a diservice to the the graphic novels themselves. I believe that this is one of the reasons that so many people question whether a graphic novel is 'true' literature. There are, of course, both good and bad graphic novels, just like there are good and bad novels, but this shoul not limit the potential of the graphic novel. I believe that if graphic novels were located amongst novels of similar genres, then the general population would be more likely to accept graphic novels as a legitimate literature. I believe that graphic novels are a literary form that definantely deserves to be read and studied, for not only it's unique features, but also the features that are aligned with traditional textual novels.