Graphic Novels : A journey (pt 2)

Supergods by Grant MorrisonThe n00b transforms

I quickly realized, when looking around the graphic novel section of my local bookshop, that there were all these different versions of Batman, Superman and so on written by different people. How could that be? I had no idea of the history behind comics and that made it difficult to choose where to start.

Then I heard about the new book by Grant Morrison “Supergods”. It sounded interesting and just what I may be looking for – being a history buff I do like learning about the past of all sorts of subjects. I am only half way through but it has helped a lot, not only with my understanding of the comic industry, but also for choosing what comics I might like to pick up next. I have a selection of camera shots on my phone of various pages from the book to remind me what to look for. Hmm, may upload them to a public album on Google+ so anyone can see and make suggestions.

Apparently writers can take a well-known comic book character and re-write the whole story to bring it up-to-date and make it enticing to new eyes. It explains why there’s so many different Batman thank goodness – was getting extremely confused there. Re-writing (or re-imagining) characters seems to be the way things are often done in the industry. With Morrison’s explanations of the (as he puts it) different ages of comics I can see how it was necessary.

Another source for recommendations was Twitter. I put it out there that I was a new reader and what did people suggest and received a multitude of responses. In fact I made a new Twitter friend because of a resulting conversation. I was also directed to the Comixology app for my Android which has been brilliant. Lots of free issues to try out.

Somewhere along the journey I picked up “The Sandman” by Neil Gaiman. I think I was in Waterstones looking for new authors & picked up “Neverwhere” then found “The Sandman” among the graphic novels, or maybe it was a review on Amazon … hmm, whatever way I found him my happiness levels increased by at least +10. I am currently halfway through the second book (note I am picking up the book-y versions rather than individual issues because they are easier for me to find and look/feel nicer).

On my “to read” list (graphic novels only) are:-

  • The Sandman (book 2)
  • Batman : Arkham Asylum
  • Discworld (books one and two)*
  • Blankets**
  • Morning Glories (#2 onwards)^
  • Lucid #2^

And that’s just the ones I have bought! Hoping to pick up the rest of “The Sandman” series soon.

*I always loved the idea of Discworld but for some reason never quite got on with Terry’s writing style so never read any of them. I am hoping reading the graphic novel versions will satisfy my curiosity.

**Blankets (Craig Thompson) was sent to me as a gift. Not a clue what it’s like but looking forward to finding out.

^via the Comixology app (there’s also a rake load of free issues but too many to list)

Someone also said I should read Peanuts. Yes, I know, I must have had a deprived (depraved?) childhood to have never read Charlie Brown. A good friend also lent me a Nemi book which I subsequently went out and bought for myself. Adventures of a Goth/Rock chick 🙂

I really want to review some of the graphic novels I have been writing about here but still feel unsure of the genre – will I be forgiven if I make a glaring ass of myself I wonder? I am no longer a n00b I suppose, transformed into the pupal stage perhaps, but I am definitely enjoying the experience and want to share.

3 thoughts on “Graphic Novels : A journey (pt 2)

Add yours

  1. ‘Blankets’ is AMAZING. I really love Craig Thompson’s work in general. His most recent book ‘Habibi’ is awesome, achingly beautiful.

    Good luck with your foray into graphic novels! I think you’ll find it very rewarding!


  2. i’ve come late (relatively speaking) to graphic novels myself.

    i’ll have to look up the name for you, but NK Jemisin (of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms) recommended a manga on her blog a couple of months ago. it was a new form for me — related to graphic novel, i think — and it blew me away…

    so cool to find new stuff!


  3. Tristan, now I can’t wait to read Blankets lol! I am finding it very rewarding yes, so different from regular prose but so rich in content.

    Ashley, thank you that would be great. Always looking out for new stuff to read. My daughter does read a lot of manga so I may even have it on our bookshelves. Haven’t read much though as I got confused reading it the ‘wrong’ way 🙂


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