Graphic Novels: More Than Just Picture Books

Lately, I’ve been feeling the urge to read some graphic novels. I have a couple in my personal library, but it has been about five years since I last read a graphic novel or comic book. I enjoy the genre, so I’m not sure what’s held me back from reading more other than the outrageous stigma that surrounds it, and the fact that I don’t venture to the book store often. While I think more and more people are becoming accepting of graphic novels and comic books alike, there’s still a lot of negative stigma surrounding (adults) reading anything with more than a few illustrations scattered throughout a novel/non fiction piece. 

What I’ve found in my own experience is that most people who make a point to attack graphic novels and the like are simply just uneducated on the subject. They assume that graphic novels are just silly picture books with no plot or substance when the reality couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Graphic Novel genre is vast and explores just as many themes and issues as fiction novels do. It’s simply storytelling from a different vantage point. Instead of relying on words alone to create a world and characters, we have (beautifully rendered) images that move us quickly through a story without sacrificing substance. 

There are two graphic novels I’ve been particularly interested in lately:

Lock and Key: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill with Illustrations by Gabriel Rodriguez 

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Lock and Key is a dark fantasy story set in a mansion in New England where people are turned into dark and hateful creatures simply by walking through the mansion’s doors. I’ve heard that both he story and artwork in this series are amazing, and as a fan of Stephen King’s, I’ve been anxious to read Joe Hill’s stories. 

Saga (Vol.1) by Brian K. Vaughan, Illustrations by Fiona Staples

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Saga won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story. Saga is a SciFi/Fantasy mashup about lovers who come from opposite sides of a massive and endless galactic war. Together, they will bring a baby into this war-torn world, determined to make their own way a world that wants to pull them apart.

What do you think of graphic novels and comic books? Do you read them? If so, which are your favorites?

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