Monday, September 15, 2008

What Is A Graphic Novel??

What Is A Graphic Novel???

The comic book industry has gotten a lot of attention the past few years with major motion picture releases like Dark Knight, Iron-Man, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and the much anticipated release of Watchmen in 2009.

While in my local comic book store this weekend I noticed a couple of moms and dads bringing in the kids and looking for comics of the heroes they'd just seen at the movies, and didn't quite know what to look for.

The best place to start if you or your children are interested in reading comics is the graphic novel. A graphic novel is simply a collection of issues of one title, bound together, usually in hardback or trade paperback format. For example, if you're looking for a Superman story that spanned 6 months in 1983, tracking down all those issues would be a challenge. With a graphic novel, all those issues are put together into one book, oftentimes with extras like commentary from artists and writers, and excerpts from the artists' sketchbook. Another plus is that graphic novels hold up much better after repeated reads than single issues.

So now that you know what a graphic novel is, which ones do you want? Some of the most successful graphic novels are:

Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer, and features most of the big names in the DC universe, like Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, etc.

Civil War by Mark Millar, that features almost the entire Marvel Universe: Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, Thor, Captain America, the Punisher, etc.

The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller and The Killing Joke by Alan Moore are must reads for fans of the new Batman movies.

Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman puts a new twist on popular mythology.

Click the following link to see a list of the top 30 graphic novels of all time:
Top 30 Graphic Novels of All Time

This is only a sampling of the best the comics world has to offer. You'll find hundreds of titles for different tastes and age groups, and finding a title you can't wait to come out each month is a great way to get young people reading.

As with anything your kids are involved with, know what they are reading. Some comics contain violence and dark subject material, and knowing you're interested and involved in picking out comics will make it a more exciting experience for them.

Happy Reading!

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