- Do you read graphic novels or memoirs? Who are your favorite authors? Which books do you recommend?
- If you haven't read any, why not?
- Some people have the impression that graphic novels are glorified comic books, are unsophisticated or don't qualify as "serious" literature. What do you think? If you track your book numbers, do you count a graphic novel as a book read?
When I was a child I belonged to the comic book brigade in our town. We stored our comic books in boxes under our beds and traded them with each other. My favourites were Classics, which were graphic versions of novels like The Three Musketeers, The Man in the Mask, Treasure Island etc. But for me they were never really substitutes for "real" books.
[I'm not sure that I understand the inference in the question that graphic novels and memoirs are the same thing. To me a memoir is the equivalent of an autobiography, not a graphic novel at all.]
Over the years my attitude to graphic novels has remained more or less the same - they are no substitute for the "real thing". In essence they often seem to me to be a watered down version of the story, without any of the descriptive text and character development that characterises a real novel. I do object too to the graphic novels that ride on the coat-tails of famous authors.
I really don't understand for example the condoning of the production of "graphic novels" based on Agatha Christie titles. I've written about that a couple of times on this blog.
For example in a post titled Read an Agatha Christie in under an hour I wrote
- Well, I hope nobody is kidding themselves that these comics, a total of 83 titles, are going to turn anybody into a reader of the Agatha Christie classics!
- The connection between this "graphic novel" and the original novel is just the main elements of the story. There is no suspense, and really none of what attracted readers to Agatha Christie's books.
- Pardon the cynic in me who sees them as part of a money-making, marketing exercise. On the back of the copy of SECRET OF CHIMNEYS which I borrowed from my local library the reader is encourage to "collect all of the new Agatha Christie adventures, adapted by some of the world's most original comic book artists".
- Please don't give these to young people thinking you are hooking them on Agatha Christie. They will be greatly disappointed when they discover the "real books" require much greater levels of literacy and concentration.
I am aware that there are such things as "original" graphic novels that do not appear in any other format. But my interest in trying to read them is zilch.