Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Graphic Novels...for adults?

When I suggest graphic novels, most adult think of the superheroes created by Marvel and DC Comics.  They imagine young boys reading graphic novels and their parents complaining, "Why can't they read real books?!"  But graphic novels are real books.  There are many articles that document how graphic novels are great for kids, improving language, vocabulary, reinforcing text with images for greater comprehension. 

But there are great graphic novels for adults, too! Especially if you are short on time.

Recently, Americus by MK Reed was recommended to us.  Here is the synopsis from Amazon: "Neal Barton just wants to read in peace. Unluckily for him, some local Christian activists are trying to get his favorite fantasy series banned from the Americus public library on grounds of immoral content and heresy. Something has to be done, and it looks like quiet, shy Neal is going to have to do it. With youth services librarian Charlotte Murphy at his back, Neal finds himself leading the charge to defend the mega-bestselling fantasy series that makes his life worth living."

Despite one image of the librarian reading at the desk reinforcing the stereotype that librarians do nothing but read, this book was fantastic! This is the fight for intellectual freedom and normal teenage life in a graphic novel.  

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is a coming-of-age story set in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution.  Similar to Americus, this book sets normal adolescent trials against a larger political landscape. 

Derf Backderf has two great graphic novels, My Friend Dahmer, about his experience as a classmate of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, and Trashed.  (My Friend Dahmer was recently made into a movie to be released later this year.)  But, I want to talk about Trashed.  Fresh out of high school with few prospects, Derf takes a job as a trash collector.  Not only does this give a first hand account of a job few would love, but a necessary one, but it also takes a look at the amount of trash American's create and what happens to our trash after we set it out on the curb. You will learn about the history of the garbage truck, how landfills are created, and what happens once landfills are full.  It will definitely give you an appreciation for our trash collectors and will make you think about how your own lifestyle contributes to the incredible amount of trash that we must deal with each year.

These are excellent books, that just might change your mind about graphic novels. 

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