Jimmy Corrigan The Smartest Kid on Earth by C. Ware

If you think graphic novels are easy to read, Jimmy Corrigan  by C. Ware will put you to the test. It will be worth it. I don’t know enough about graphic novels to say this with authority, but I think there’s a visual storytelling genius at work in Jimmy Corrigan. The way Mr. Ware uses the page impressed  me from the get-go.  Some pages are … Continue reading Jimmy Corrigan The Smartest Kid on Earth by C. Ware

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

I guess I just have a hard time reading pictures. I’m too focused on the words when I read a graphic novel.  And the words usually are not very good.  This has long been my main complaint with the form–it needs better writing. The writing in Scott McCloud’s graphic novel The Sculptor isn’t bad, but the story suffers from what has become a trite cliché.  (Yes, that … Continue reading The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast

I know this won’t win me many friends in some quarters but my main problem with graphic novels is that they are typically so much better as graphics than they are as novels. Even when I look at the graphic novels I’ve loved and admired, I have to admit that I like the artwork much more than I do the writing.   Most graphics novelists–in … Continue reading Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast

El Deafo by Cece Bell

I confess, at first it bothered me that all the characters in Cece Bell’s graphic novel El Deafo were rabbits.  Just this morning, I as was passing my copy of the book along to the school librarian, I realized why Ms. Bell made them rabbits. Duh. I was also a little put off by the language, as I usually am with graphic novels.  Full honesty here, … Continue reading El Deafo by Cece Bell

Incognegro by Mat Johnson

It can be hard to tell who’s black in America. This is something our history books tend to downplay when not denying it outright. It’s also something that can be used to one’s advantage in certain situations. In the early part of the 20th century, Walter White, the former head of the NAACP went undercover as a white man in the deep south to investigate and … Continue reading Incognegro by Mat Johnson

Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together by Bryan Lee O’Malley

  Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley is a graphic novel series about a Canadian slacker in his early twenties. Ordinarily a character I’d avoid if at all possible. Somehow, he kept popping up on my radar so I picked up a couple of volumes at my local library. I’m glad I did.  Scott lives with his gay roommate, hangs out with a small group … Continue reading Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Saints by Gene Luen Yang

Saints, the companion to Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel Boxers, makes the project worthwhile.  The two books each present different perspectives on the same set of events in China’s Boxer Rebellion of 1900. They’re not exactly opposing views.  Boxers told the story of a boy caught up in the rebellion, fighting on the side of the Chinese.  The girl in Saints  is also fighting for the Chinese, the Christian … Continue reading Saints by Gene Luen Yang