Check it out; I have an opinion. Hey, I thought that is what I do every day, except today, since this is Wednesday. Usually we have people do guest posts. I am not trying to steal any thunder from Mr. Corleone, no far from it. I do not wish to swim with the fishes. I was asked last week by a friend on Goodreads, why do I bother with Graphic Novels? I at first was taken aback. Really, why did I suggest to people they chill on a Friday with a bunch of comic books?
I started to think about it and wondered if I fit the stereo type male adult graphic novel reader. Hmmm. What is that stereotype? Do I still live in my mother’s basement having yet had a first date? Is Billy Ray Cyrus my hairstylist and do I still have an achy breaky heart? Are picture books the only type of books I am able to read? Do I still hold the debate with my friends –Pat Benatar or Debra Harry, which is hotter? Wait, do I have any friends and if so, are they real or imagined? Does my Mother still sew my name into my pjs and can I match my Garanimal clothing without assistance?
I was heartened to find out the answer to all these questions was no. To double check and triple check I asked my wife and kids. They all agreed I was not like that, fortunately I did not mention an IQ exam and its score. That I am sure I would have failed. I felt a bit penned in when the question came up .Have I ever really had to reason with myself why I enjoyed these things? No, basically my family is used to me doing things for no apparent reason at all. But this really started to eat away at me over the weekend, so I needed to get this done. If you read my bio, the OCD kicked in. I am going to give this my best shot.
I enjoy the shortest distance between two points, so here goes. I have surprisingly found that the graphic novel has taken on a new and decidedly different place in our world. In my youth, the comic book was just getting its ball rolling as Marvel Comics exploded with its stable of characters. They made some missteps, but then again who doesn’t in business. I have found that the graphic novels of the last decade have had more substance and deeper messages than in the past. The level of writers has gotten amazingly better as some of today’s best authors: David Morrell writing Captain America, Jonathan Maberry writing many of today’s best Marvel material ( he has won numerous awards for his novels, check our archives for his awards), Janet Evanovich this July has a g.n. coming out, James Patterson, Jim Butcher, the list goes on and on. Basically I feel that when one of the authors whose material I read goes the graphic novel route, it adds another dimension to the characters. Now I view them at least 2 dimensionally , seeing them in graphics as well as the written word.
The artwork and the technology to deliver it to us have gotten better, enhancing the experience for the reader. I am consistently amazed at the way the artists can bring the story alive with the definition they are able to bring to bear in this day and age. The colors are more vibrant with today’s printing processes; giving the characters a depth they were unable to have “back in the day”. Last, but not least, I feel we get enough reality in our daily lives, and a little bit of escapism that is totally innocent is not a bad thing. Laugh a little, have some fun, it doesn’t take long and most graphic novels are something you can share with your kids if you want to. One cannot say that about much these days. What is your opinion on the matter? Have you ever read a comic book? If so what are your favs?
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