Pam Liu- Blog #2 – A Reaction to the Graphic Novel

I’ve always had a problem reading
novels. There’s just something seemingly endless about the words, sentences, paragraphs,
chapters, and pages. Perhaps, I am impatient, or my math/science-oriented brain
just isn’t imaginative enough to appreciate all the story has to offer.
                But I am grateful to the DiNY
program that I have been introduced to the graphic novel. I loved City of Glass  by Paul Auster. Everything about it
was engaging for me. I love that its concise written portion is coupled with complex
pictures that give you instant visualization of a scene. The best part for me is
that although it appears like a simple medium, I’ve already read and analyzed
the pictures of City of Glass three times and still discover
something new each time. To further explore this until now secret world of
graphic novels, I did a bit of Google research.

First, I stumbled across a great comic
online titled “What is a ‘graphic novel’?” Take a look:

Comic1

Comic2

            The above comic was written by Jessica Abel, a writer and
cartoonist. She has written a textbook titled Drawing Words & Writing Pictures about how to make comics. Her
most renowned work is a five part mini comic book series (later turned book), La Perdida, about a woman living abroad
in
Mexico. This series won the 2002 “Best new series” Harvey Award. Currently, she is
working on a graphic novel, which I plan to read, called Life Sucks

Life Sucks is
about Dave Miller—a vegetarian, broke, girlfriend-less convenient store employee
whose boss is a vampire. He finds himself competing with a vampire for the love
of Rosa, his gothic dream girl.

For a full biography on Jessica, visit her website.

***Note: Jessica
Abel lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, Matt
Madden

successful comic book writer and artist. The couple can be potential guest
speakers to discuss the writing and illustrating profession for future DiNY
students!***

I found out that when choosing a graphic novel to read, you
should choose based off not only the genre of the book, but also off the
artistic style. I discovered some good advice in class about reading graphic
novels. At first, I was simply just reading the text and glancing over the
pictures. However, I now know it is important to study each picture with great
detail to gain the best understanding of the story.

            I saw many
lists online of top 10 graphic novels, but this list by Danny Fingeroth
(American comic book writer and editor, who has worked as an editor on the Spider Man comics, and also written a
book titled The Rough Guide to Graphic
Novel
), seemed to have the most graphic novels that I would like to read in
the future.

"For my top 10, I decided to
take the crème de la crème, the graphic novels that I most enjoyed. These are
graphic novels, some famous, some less well-known, that do what all great
literature does, in that they give you such a pleasurable experience while
reading that you're simultaneously eager to uncover the ending, yet also
dreading it, knowing that the experience will then be over." –Danny
Fingeroth

Number eight on the list is the graphic novel Brooklyn Dreams, which was a comic series turned graphic novel in
2003.

Brooklyn Dreams is about a teenager’s
coming of age during one summer in his hometown, Brooklyn, NY. This book fits well into our semester topics, seeing as many of us fell in love
with
Brooklyn during our short tour. It also
contains the coming of age theme that many of us can relate to or are going
through currently. This graphic novel is a bit lengthy, about 385 pages.
Nevertheless, I will be on the quest to reading it in the near future. It received
great reviews on Amazon.com. Read reviews.

Brooklyn Dreams was written by J.M
DeMatteis
,
who if we could get the contact info for, would also be a
great guest speaker for DiNY. Brooklyn
Dreams
is semi-autographical of his life. I couldn’t find a personal
website online.

            I am amazed at how many
graphic novels are out there, and I will definitely be sharing with others this
new medium. There has been a lot of research
on how graphic novels are beneficial to childhood education,
though it has yet to become an accepted medium into many school libraries,
because most “comics” have the negative association with superheroes and
fighting villains.

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