Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Outside of a Dog, #31

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

Are comics just for kids?

Graphic novels - usually defined as collections of storylines in regular comics (like Batman: The Dark Knight Returns or The Astonishing X-Men: Gifted), or standalone novels in graphic format (like American-Born Chinese or Maus) – are taking the literary world by storm. Once the province of kids and collectors, the offerings available in the graphic novel format now are, well, astonishing! Here are a few of our favorite “no flying, no tights” graphic novels:

Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale:: My Father Bleeds History and Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale:: And Here My Troubles Began – Art Spiegelman

The Maus novels, by legendary writer and artist Art Spiegelman are based on the author’s father’s recollections of being a Polish Jew during the Holocaust. While the story is told using mice, pigs, cats, dogs, and other animals, it never feels like a child’s storybook. Maus has won the Eisner Award for great achievement in comics, as well as a Pulitzer Prize Special Award.

Y 940.531 S HPW

Y 741.5973 S SCS

940.531 Spiegelman SHL

Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi

Satrapi grew up in Iran during the Iranian Revolution of 1979, and here, in startling black-and-white drawings, relives that childhood, as a rebellious girl with radical parents who struggle under the new regime. There’s a second novel, too, Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return, which details the author’s schooling in Vienna, and return to Iran. The first graphic novel was also made into a movie in 2008, though it cannot be placed on hold through the library at this time.

YA Graphic Satrapi FRA

YA Graphic S ROK

YA Fic Comic Satrapi WMB

Graphic Teen Persepolis TPL

Bone – Jeff Smith

Bone is a serialized collection of comics put together irregularly from 1991 to 2004, currently published in 9 graphic novel collections. The story follows the Bone Family as they are run out of the city of Boneville, and is something of a high fantasy novel, though with humor interjected at key points. Almost every edition of Bone has won an Eisner Award, and a Harvey Award.

JFic Smith WCV SHL

YA Graphic Smith FRA

J 741.597 Smi LWM

Next week, we'll visit with some great superhero graphic novels from one of the comics giants: DC.

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