Tag Archives: graphic novels

BBAW Day Four and Giveaway

15th September 2011

So, today’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week topic is:

Book bloggers blog because we love reading. Has book blogging changed the way you read? Have you discovered books you never would have apart from book blogging? How has book blogging affected your book acquisition habits? Have you made new connections with other readers because of book blogging? Choose any one of these topics and share your thoughts today!

And while this is a great topic, I want to put this into action by sharing books you may not pick up on your own. Last year, I had such a great time reading, reviewing, and discussing Madame Bovary with Frances of Nonsuch Book. I don’t know if I would ever have picked up that particular book otherwise. If you’ve been around here a bit, you know I love graphic novels, though I don’t read too many of them. So today, in the true spirit of the thing, I have two books up for grabs. Two for two of you, two for me (so not solely altruistic). Two graphic novels – neither of which I have read, both which look intriguing:

My only experience with Paul Auster was a bad one and, unfortunately, highly stereotypical, as in “I wanted to throw the book at the wall” sort. I know. I’m ashamed. I promised I’d never use that phrase here. Alas.

City of Glass is the story of a detective on a meaningless case, who questions who he is, what he is, and how he got here. For some reason, I can see this translating really well into a GN. Plus, I’ve heard others rave about Auster, and this graphic novel with an intro by Art Spiegelman has me pretty pumped.

This is one of those books I’m not sure why I haven’t bought before now. I have heard amazing things about this wordless book. So know up front: no words. Is it still a book? Of course it is. Just a different kind. It’s about an immigrant’s isolating experience in a new place, and I think, as a new ESL teacher, the timing is perfect.

 

So…who’s in? All you have to do is leave a comment (with email address) telling me a little bit about your experience with comic books or graphic novels. Then, on Sunday, I’ll draw a winner for each book. Plus, if you enjoy the book, I’d love to do companion posts – hey, it’s all about book blogger community. And I’d love the chance to review a graphic novel with someone else.

Please note: Since it is, in fact, Book Blogger Appreciation Week, this giveaway is open only to bloggers. It is, however, open internationally. 🙂

Rules:

Open Internationally

Open only to book bloggers

Open until Sunday, September 18, 2011 at 8 p.m.

Emails will be sent to winners. Winner must respond within 48 hours.

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

12th April 2011

Spring. I love it for so many reasons including the really great texts my students and I explore. This week, we are reading Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, but many of my students have never before read a graphic novel. In fact, last week one of them opened up the book, held it up, and asked: “Is it really supposed to be a comic book?” So, I thought it was essential to introduce them to the medium and made some copies of excerpts from Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud.

If you haven’t ventured far into comics/graphic novels and want a primer or even just a great, fun reference book, you could do much worse. McCloud uses the medium itself to define and explore the complex world of images and comics.

In an accessible manner, McCloud starts with the basics, using one of Magritte’s paintings and then explaining that the image you are viewing is not a pipe, or a painting of a pipe or a drawing of a pipe. Instead, it’s (in our case) a web page view of a printed page of a drawing of a painting of a pipe. Now that that’s clear as mud, take a look at the page (click to enlarge):

Why does any of that matter? Well, McCloud wants us to be able to break down images the way a cartoonist might, and he discusses icons and how icons and symbols are different from one another:

Thus, as a number or letter simply represents the corresponding number or letter (3=3; M=m), the icons above are indicative of an idea, though not the ideas themselves. McCloud argues that comics operate in icons and demand reader participation. Let me explain: he says photos only allow us to see what the photographer views. However, comics break down images to less complex levels, inviting the reader/viewer to better identify with the story.

This particular panel is an excellent experiment. From left to right, the images decrease in detail, leaving us with a simplistic drawing of a face. McCloud says we are more likely to see ourselves in the image on the right as opposed to the image on the left. In fact, McCloud says we are eager to see ourselves everywhere:

And it’s so true. Don’t you see faces in the images below? Fascinating. The rest of the book discusses panel choice, color, story, etcetera, and it’s really a great, fairly-quick read. If you’re at all interested in comic books and graphic novels, I think you’ll absolutely love this book.

If you’re interested, you can buy a copy here.

Well? Have you read Understanding Comics? Until I discovered graphic novels, I was always a fan of Archie. Are you a fan of comic books or graphic novels? What are some of your favorites?
jenn aka the picky girl