Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wherein I discuss a graphic novel

Whenever I talk about connecting boys and books, I always mention graphic novels, which are essentially classy (or not) comic books with excellent (sometimes not) production values. Some parents resist the very idea of them, but I think graphic novels can make the whole reading experience less intimidating and more enjoyable for the reluctant reader.

Besides, graphic novels are awesome. And I like them.

There are graphic novels for adults, too. Did you know? PERSEPOLIS, the story of a girl's experience in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, is not only my favorite graphic novel, it's also one of my favorite books, too. Picture AND text combine to give the reader a real sense of what it must have felt like to be playing kissing tag at school one day and being forced to wear a veil the next. It's a brilliant work.

Just read a graphic novel this morning called HARVEY by Herve Bouchard (illustrated by Janice Nadeau) about a boy's memory of his father's death. The language is lyrical and evocative on its own: "My father Bouillon used to say, that there are two springs: one that is white with light and then the next that is green with grass and leaves." But the art only makes the boy's experience of loss and grief and his feeling that somehow his father's death has turned him invisible that much more powerful.



Becca said...

Thanks for the rec. I have a strange distaste for graphic novels that I can't really explain, so I need to dive into one that comes ... backed. By you? Oh, all right. I'll give it a shot.

Louise Plummer said...

I haven't read one either, but I always loved comic books when I was young. I can't think of any reason why I wouldn't like them now.

James said...

You should write one. Phil should illustrate.