The New York Times debuted three new best-seller lists under the heading “Graphic Books”: hardcovers, softcovers and manga. The NYT article is here http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/05/introducing-the-new-york-times-graphic-books-best-seller-lists/
I’m kinda half-hearted about the whole thing really. Graphic novels are not up for debate as to their relevance and poignancy and their weighty and often gritty realism. Anyone who bothers to actually pick one up and look through it will soon discover that there are things you can talk about or just show in art that you simply cannot, at least in the same way, through “mere” written text. What may take paragraphs to explain can be drawn in one single panel.
This doesn’t in any way imply that comics are “better” than novels. I would never say that. Not in public any way. haha. But seriously, I find them to be separate but equal entities, which is more than what many many lit professors would give credit for.
Anyway, I know I wont make any converts to this, and it isn’t even close to my goal or interest to try. I’m just explaining my own respect and reverence for a format that often goes overlooked and belittled as “kids’ stuff.” Some of these stories are anything but for kids.
Oh, speaking of kids, if you haven’t aready, you should pick up The Graveyard Book which is really quite delightful reading for kids of all ages. Won the Newberry award if that kind of thing means anything to you. Starts out a little scary and has some bits throughout that may not make it the best choice for bedtime reading. Especially if your kid has an overactive imagination and is prone to nightmares. But it is mostly very pleasant and each chapter can more or less be read as separate standalone stories. No surprises here, it’s by Neil Gaiman. It’s not as great as Coraline (the book, not the movie) or Mr. Punch. But it’s up there.