Sunday, February 17, 2013
My Take on Graphic Novels
I’m not a graphic novel reader and my expose didn’t begin until required texts (mostly Neil Gaiman) for my library degree. I decided to give Blankets a chance because it was not in the fantasy genre of graphic novels and I feel in order to because a well-rounded librarian I need to have a diverse knowledge of literature, including genre I normally don’t read. While I am usually impressed by the artwork, every graphic novel I have read in its entirety, Blankets being the third (The others: Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1 by Stephenie Meyer and The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger), I feel I’m missing the “guts” of the story. I understand that the artwork helps tell the story and is there to provide the insight, but my literary brain needs and craves more. My take is that graphic novels only provide a synopsis of the true story. This was especially true for me while reading Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1 (Young Kim’s artwork was amazing), but that may be because I had read the full novel and new there were plenty of crucial details missing in the graphic version.
With that being said, I would never discourage teens (or adults) from reading graphic novels, anime, or manga. While there is definitely literature that can be considered better quality and educational; I am a true believer than any reading is better than no reading at all. I also believe that readers of graphic novels may become so absorbed with a storyline that there is a good possibly they will ask for other books on the same topic. And further believes, that the more one reads the more likely they will continue to read more and continue to diversify their reading base. I have explained this belief to parents who have insisting their child read quality literature and not “comic books”. However, I have also suggested titles of full novels to teens that have to obey their parent(s) insistence. Being a mother myself, I understand that as well.
In the end, Every Reader has his/her Book and Every Book has his/her Reader. My rating of 3 stars of Blankets by Craig Thompson was definitely directly related to my lack of interest in graphic novels and the desire for more detail of the story. I am positive that a fan of graphic novels will rate this story much higher.