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What is it about graphic novels...

rachelr's picture

 I have been putting a lot of thought into why I dislike graphic novels; as a child I read the Sunday comics every week and I was obsessed with Calvin and Hobbes. I strongly disliked A Game of You, and yet I enjoyed Persepolis. Part of the reason that I believe I disliked A Game of You was because of the distraction of all the intricate details and the wild color that dominated every page. The words were scrunched into small spaces, not easily accessible to my eyes. I felt that I had to work too hard to even keep up with the storyline that was sweeping me along. 

In Persepolis I was much better able to focus not only on the words (which I found much easier to read) but also on the pictures. As we talked about in class, in a way they are more simplistic than those in A Game of You; however there is also symbolism and more hidden analogies within the images. So instead as being fed everything and whisked along "down the rabbit hole" as I was in A Game of You, I felt that not only was I learning historical material through both words and images, but that I could also stop to smell the roses as it were, and not feel like the story was leaving me behind.

So in essence I do not like having a story in its complete entirety to me. I love art because I can look at the image with my knowledge of the artist and his/her background and style and read a picture, tell myself a story though their work. In a novel, the words create the images. Even in children's stories (which I love) not all of the give you each and every detail in both words and images. Some of my favorite children's books growing up were the Brambly Hedge books. In these, similarly to the work of Brueghel, there are large images which produce the "swarming effect," allowing for the audiences to bring to life certain parts of the large image. 

So I guess I feel like graphic novels promote laziness- laziness of the connoisseur of literature as text.



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