OK, so it’s no longer a secret. I have developed a passion, an obsession, a serious addition to graphic novels.
It all started with our last Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-Thon in October last year (and yes, we are very overdue for another, I KNOW!), and during one of the Twitter parties I started talking about graphic novels with one of the other read-a-thon’ers (and I have since forgotten who, so please shout out if it was you!!) and I admitted I’d never read a single one.
She gave me at least one recommendation, El Deafo by Cece Bell (check it out on Goodreads), which I promptly purchased and started reading the next day. I was instantly hooked, and went off in search of other similar books – and after several disappointing Kindle versions that I couldn’t even SEE, lots of awesome sounding ones that weren’t available electronically and recovering from the heart palpatations when I saw the cost of the paper versions, I’ve now read nearly 30 graphic novels in the last 3 months.
I was reluctant to try graphic novels for a couple of reasons:
1) Lack of substance – I mean, if there is less text and dialogue and you can read one in an hour, is it impactful, satisfying, emotional, captivating? Well, yes – 30 Days of Night scared the crap out of me, the first The Walking Dead compendium had me addicted and gasping out loud, and Matthew Inman’s books had me giggling and smiling constantly.
2) Connected to the first point, but DUDE graphic novels are pricey – The Walking Dead compendiums are 30 GBP/36 Dollars apiece – I could buy 8 to 10 books for that price. It does make finding good ones a bit of a crap-shoot – The Walking Dead I believe ARE worth the money, but several others I felt rather cheated by.
3) Graphic novels helped me achieve my reading goal for 2014, but when I read three or four in a day, does it ACTUALLY count? This point I still struggle with a little – I feel like I’m cheating slightly by reading books with pictures rather than pages completely full of text.
Never tried graphic novels before, or tried and didn’t really click? As a newbie myself, I’ve got some pointers:
– GET RECOMMENDATIONS – seriously, there are people out there who know their shit when it comes to graphic novels and they will point you in the right direction.
– If you are buying Kindle versions, for the sake of your sanity, and so you don’t get banned by Amazon for repeatedly returning items for refund (personally, I don’t know if this is a thing, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it really was), download the sample first. Sadly, some of the samples don’t actually give you anything but the introduction/acknowledgement pages and that’s pretty much useless, but try and see if they a) work on your device and b) the illustration style doesn’t completely piss you off.
– Try the non-fiction ones – there are some excellent memoir graphic novels that have actually made them my favourite kind of graphic novel. I don’t tend to read memoirs in ‘text only’ format, and it’s fun to explore a new genre in a less structured and predictable format.
And now my completely selfish reason for this post: I
want need some more recommendations of Kindle compatible graphic novels as I am rapidly running out of them to read. Give it to me! Oh, and tell me YOUR favourite graphic novel, or the reason you don’t read them, so we can harass persuade you to try one 😉