Posted by: Mish | May 10, 2009

Illustrated Books

btt2In honor of Free Comic Book Day on May 2nd, Booking Through Thursday‘s theme was comics and graphic novels. It was asked:

– 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 still own a few of my old Archie comics. For whatever reasons, I never fully got into the Marvel comics. I read some of them from time to time and thank Stan Lee for being the mastermind behind X-Men, Spider-Man, and many others that are still popular. Instead I was often reading Dragon Ball Z and other manga, usually at my then local soba shoppe. A big bowl of steaming soba sounds good…Maus II

For comics, short stories that may or may not be episodic come to mind. Graphic novels are longer reading with an A to Z storyline in comic book format. Otherwise I don’t don’t see much of a difference. The first graphic novel that I read was Art Spiegelman’s Maus I and II that recounts his father’s survival story during the Holocaust. From what I recall, they were done extremely well. Now that I’m older, I’d like to re-read them. I think they’re in a box with some of my other saved books from my youth.

I’ve been wanting to read the Sandman and V for Vendetta for awhile. I was introduced to the first during college, long before I came to enjoy Neil Gaiman’s writing, or knew his name. The long-running comic chronicles the adventures of the dream world’s ruler. I liked what glimpses I caught, but my schedule and stack of assigned plays didn’t allow for anything more. Not too long ago, I asked to borrow one from a friend and got a definitive, “Sorry, not for lending”. After seeing the movie, which I ended up buying, V for Vendetta got my attention. Besides, books are more times than not better than the film anyway. In a dystopian future, an anarchist works to destroy the U.K’s totalitarian government. Hmm, maybe I’ll watch that tonight…


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