Thursday, April 16, 2009

Getting Into Graphic Novels

I'd never completely read a graphic novel before, which is why when I turned to the back cover of Watchmen and read "If you've never read a graphic novel, then Watchmen is the one to start with" I was intrigued. Clearly doesn't take much for me, but of course there were other reasons: one coworker had just finished the book and another had just seen the film. Both had great reviews on each. Also, Mr. First had recommended I read this back in November and I proceeded to forget about it until this month. Either way, odds were good that it'd be at least a decent read.

Let me just say that I really enjoyed that book! It was such a visual feast, I'd completely lose track of time during my commute. I'd even get annoyed when someone interrupted my reading to ask me questions about it.

You know how some stories are hard to get into at first? The ones that take work for you to imagine the scene and characters in your head? Definitely did not happen with this one. You're instantly thrown into this world. In fact, there's so much to take in that you're bound to miss details as you fly through the story. I actually kept flipping back to earlier chapters after learning new info and realizing I completely missed several clues! The end of each chapter even includes supplementary background info (via newspaper clippings, book excerpts, letters, etc.) that are referenced in the story. And, of course, the art is amazing. The way each panel is set up was clearly made for the movies.

I'm not sure if I'll go see the movie now (since I always prefer the book to the film), but a part of me is curious to see how they brought this already-lively book to life. And if I had known it'd be this good, I would've just bought it myself instead of borrowing it from my coworker.

The Complete Persepolis is one I did buy two years ago after the movie came out. This story serves as a memoir of author Marjane Satrapi's childhood in revolutionary Iran. The bits I've read so far are funny and touching, but like I mentioned earlier, I'm having a little trouble getting into this one. Maybe I'll give it another chance now (though now that I've read Watchmen it seems so much more subdued).

I never did watch the film, but I remember it caught my eye because it was filmed as a black and white animated feature. It's just another to add to my ever-growing list!

Other graphic novels I've recently read about and would love to get my hands on include:

A Year in Japan both by Kate T. Williamson

And French Milk by Lucy Knisley

If you're looking for others, well then here's 20 Graphic Novels You Should Read (After Watchmen) according to GQ. Enjoy!

Images:,,, and


  1. ooohh ohh now i wanna read Watchmen...i didn't know it was a make it sound so interesting

  2. Hubby said the movie stayed real close to the book. Personally, I couldnt really get into the movie although there were parts now and then that caught my attention. Hubby, the true scifi geek in this family, loved it though.

  3. Does the Twilight Saga count as graphic novels? hee hee

    Yo ANONYMOUS!!! Where you at?!

  4. I know I shouldn't judge a book/movie by the trailer but I saw the ad for Watchmen on TV and thought, "Naaa, its not for me."

    But now that a trusted critic gives it two Dorkys smiles, I'll have to reconsider.

  5. I heard the movie sucked from a lot of people. But the book is probably great. I wanna read it!


  6. A book you could have used as a book club read!! Tsk tsk. :) I will have to take this one into consideration when I get to the bookstore next for myself. Pleasure reading really needs to get back into my daily or at least weekly routine.

  7. dariany, it was! Plus, it was just a new genre to get acquainted with so that was exciting. I actually felt like a proud little geek reading it on the train while the person next to me tried to read from the corner of their eye.

    ladystyx, yeah, that's what I've heard. They cut stuff out (because then it'd go on foreverrr), but what they did use was close to the book. Frankly, I didn't care for the movie and had no idea what it was about prior to borrowing the book, but I ended up enjoying it.

    dama, no. Not even close.

    intense guy, lol!! Hey, don't go by me! I don't usually like giving reviews because I'd hate to have someone come back and say "You were soooo wrong," but eh. I say what I like or don't like and you all are welcome to take it how you'd like. I know I've read reviews and then see or read the piece to make a decision for myself.

    But please let me know if you do read/see it. I like knowing what others think :)

    heidi, I would, but it's not mine. My coworker lent it to me. But you should check it out anyway.

    tooj, I TOTALLY forgot about the book club!! Sorry! I've had trouble picking out a book that the majority of you would be interested in picking up. Hmm, but I really would love to have us all read the same book and then share our thoughts. Maybe one of the other graphic novels I listed at the end? Who knows.

    And yes, I've been getting back into that routine recently and it makes my train rides a thousand times better. I have a bunch of others I need to get through.

  8. Check out Paul Auster's "City Of Glass"...I read it in a contemporary literature course in college and wrote an essay on it examining its symbolism. Quite amazing.

  9. I'm still at Book 4 in the beginning pages Dama.. and Yes Twilight is a graphic novel. you can make it sooooooooooo graphic!

  10. where's my Jakie Collins novels??? ;)
    I also luv ChroniclesBooks...used to be the buyer for a retailstore & their books sold really hot cakes!
    Happy weekend sweetie! ~xo*

  11. I've never read a Graphic Novel, my aunt compared it to a comic book. I did see the movie Watchmen, and I thought it was very strange. My aunt loved it, since she read the book/comic when she was younger.

  12. I enjoyed A Year In Japan. It's a bit more graphic than novel, but both elements were intriguing and lovely. I haven't heard a thing about Watchmen until your post. I'll have to check it out.


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