I love graphic novels. But I dunno where I'd discuss them. In a book thread? A comics thread? So I'm making this thread. Just post and share, even if it's just shouting into the void.What's a graphic novel?
It's a book with pictures and sometimes words.
Some graphic novels I've read recently:Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
By Roz Chast. It's a book about her parents dying. Roz has done work for the New Yorker since the 1978 and it helps with the difficult story. Her parents are cartoon archetypes. They're so set in their ways, her dad's worrying, her mum's bossyness, they're codependent and they don't change and don't want to change. And so the book is about them dealing with changing. I think my favourite moment was the bit where Roz is going through her parents' belongings and instead the usual drawings you're shown photographs of each item. It's a moment where after being caught up in the story you remember that it isn't a story. I haven't seen much comment about the photos in reviews I've read but for me it was a special moment. Like how other comics might use a shift in art style to represent a higher reality or a story within a story. It's a comics thing I'm fond of.Special Exits
. By Joyce Farmer. Joyce is an underground comics artist from the 70s who helped create Tits and Clits Comix and Abortion Eve.
It's a fictional account of her parents dying (I swear, I don't just
read books about parents dying). It's hard to describe why it's so good as the bulk of it is just the day to day tedium of Laura looking after her parents as their health deteriorates. It's darker and a harder read than the other book. The artwork is black and white, the humour is blacker and one of the things behind the publication of the book was Joyce's anger at the poor treatment of her mother by hospice staff. As I said, it's hard to pick out any key moment as a favourite. But a good quote from it would be “Things get worse in such small increments that you can used to anything.” It's a real good book and I'm definitely going to be reading it again, just not, soon.Here
. By Richard McGuire. It's an achronological story of a room spanning thousands of years, past present and future. It's mostly wordless, with only a few snippets of conversation. It's less about plot than it is about the character and feeling of this room. It's just a nice
book to read with an interesting perspective on things.
(click on the images for a link to the articles I stole them from. They're all much better at describing the books than me.)The Diary of a Teenage Girl
. By Phoebe Gloeckner. I don't have much to say about it as I didn't like it. It's a graphic novel but it's more like a novel with intermittent pictures and comics that don't seem to add anything. The highlights are the two one page comics by the main character and the few scenes that makes you think "yep, that could definitely be a scene in a movie."