I have been reading a lot of graphic novels this week. Mainly because my friend Mickey convinced me that there is nothing wrong with a grown man reading graphic novels.
This week I had the pleasure of reading three really good graphic novels that cover the spectrum of what the medium has to offer.
Deogratias by Jean-Philippe Stassen is the story of a young boy on the verge of manhood in Rwanda days before the genocide of 800,000 Rwandans. Told in flashbacks, the story provides glimpses into the life of Deogratias in the moments leading up to this global tragedy. Touching, sad, and ultimately heartbreaking, this story displays the depth of emotion the author is able to invoke with not only his words, but with his artistic vision as well. This story has adult themes and is meant for an adult audience.
After Deogratias, I needed a book like Graphic Classics: Ambrose Bierce to put a smile back on my face. The graphic novel format is a perfect fit for Bierce. All the classic Bierce stuff is in this book: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Bierce’s Fables, and of course The Devil’s Dictionary. I remember the first time I picked up The Devil’s Dictionary, I was about twelve years old and was expecting a book of spells. I was of course surprised, but upon further reading, Ambrose Bierce became one of my favorite humorists. The beauty of this book is the variety of artists and artistic styles utilized to inform the modern reader of the amazing wit and cynicism of Mr. Bierce. My grandpa would call this one a “side-splitter”.
Every now and then, a book comes along that has a cover that requires you to read the book. Man with the Screaming Brain is just such a novel. Granted this probably happens a lot more with graphic novels since the cover gives you a general idea of the artwork. The story is written by Bruce Campbell best known for his roles in the Evil Dead comic-horror movies. The camp of those movies shines through brilliantly in this story as we follow a business couple on a trip to Russia. Gypsies, mad scientists, criminals, all come together in this send-up of 1950′s sci-fi horror movies. This novel is a quick one and only takes about twenty minutes to get through, but it is well worth the surprise ending.
Our graphic novels are on the second floor. We also have graphic novels in our Young Adult area, and in our children’s library. Ask a librarian for assistance if you need help finding them.
Read a book!