Wednesday, April 11, 2007

If you are like me, not very savvy about graphic novels and finding it difficult to understand them, take heart! We are normal. Unlike comic strip, graphic novel is longer and reader needs to divide his time between reading the text and looking at the pictures. Both activities are essential for the understanding of the story and the effect is totally different from reading plain text. Experts advise new reader or reader with difficulty like me to start with black and white as the colours tends to further distract us from the story.

It used to be comics were for kids' reading pleasure. Now, most comics are for teens and adults. It used to be comics were referring to comic strips (3 to 4 panels) found in our newspapers telling a joke. Comic books were longer versions of about max 20 pages such as Superman, Batman or even Lao Fu Zi (Chinese character) that I grew up with. Now, we see comic books in the form of collected comics such as Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes or Peanuts.

Graphic novel is a type of comic book with a storyline similar to those of novels. Japanese print graphic novels have gained an identity of its own. They are known as Manga and are very popular not just in Japan. In our library, we have a large collection of graphic novels for teens and adults. In terms of graphic novels for pre-teens ( J - 8 to 12 years old ), publishers of children books are responding very quickly to the trend.

Graphic Novels for Younger Reader (J)

Existing titles :
Jeff Smith's Bone Series
Baby-sitters Club and Queen Bee by Graphix
Matthew and Jennifer Holm's Babymouse Series
Asterix Series by Goscinny
The Adventures of Tintin Series by Herge

Coming titles :
Avalon High and Warriors by TokyoPop
Sticky Burr: Adventures in Burrwood Forest by Candlewick Press

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