Go Graphic (Novel, that is)

Happy Friday! Casey Wyatt here. Also, please check out my exciting news at my blog (after you finish reading this one!).So who’s noticed the growing trend among paranormal and urban fantasy authors to go graphic? No, I don’t mean sex. That’s a different topic for another day.

I’m referring to graphic novels. You know, those “comic books”. The ones often snickered at as not being “real” books because they have pictures.

Seems like everyone is doing it – Sherilynn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters, Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson books, Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden are just a few.

I was listening to Anton Strout’s Once and Future podcast and even Charlaine Harris is getting into the act. Yay, bring on Eric!

For those who don’t believe graphic novels and comics are a legitimate form of art, I would direct them to the movies. There have been dozens of films (The Green Mile, 300, Sin City, Watchmen, The Crow,  A History Violence – all graphic novels).

And do I have to list the comic book movie adaptations? I think we all know what those are. But wait. I mentioned TV. AMC’s Walking Dead anyone?

I admit it. I’m a comic book geek. I grew up reading comic books and I still own my childhood collection (and, ahem, the comics I’ve purchased as an adult). They are lovingly tucked away in protective sheets in an acid free box. Thanks to my teenage boys, I discovered manga (Japenese graphic novels). The stories are engaging and as well written as novels. The perfect fusion of art and drama.

Needless to say, for romance authors, being asked to put your work into graphic novel form is a huge honor (at least to me). Thankfully, comic books, graphic novels, and manga are finally earning some respect.

Yes, us geeks are finally inheriting the Earth. It’s about time!

Who out there enjoys graphic novels? And if you haven’t read any, what’s holding you back? And would you read your favorite author’s books in graphic novel form?

24 thoughts on “Go Graphic (Novel, that is)”

  1. I actually haven’t read comics. My hubby loves them though. But your right, a lot of people tend to downplay the art of comics. There is as much artistic value in movies as there are in books and graphics. Look at professional photographers. They recieve respect, so why not offer that to the graphic artists?
    One of my friends said I should hire an artist to add Animee graphics to Secrets of Kalkia. Not sure about that one. LOL. It sounds somewhat cool.

  2. Totally agree. Comics do not get the respect they deserve. And anime is another awesome art form (not just cartoons). One of my favorite manga and anime series is FullMetal Alchemist. It’s a great story about brotherhood and the power of love. If you want to dip your toe into the graphic novel pool, I highly recommend FMA.

  3. I wouldn’t have even given graphic novels a glance except for that my favorite author, Diana Gabaldon and her OUTLANDER book are in graphic novel form. I loved seeing how the artist portrayed Jaimie and Claire. It was also cool that it told the story from Jaimie’s POV. I would definitely pick up another one. I think the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton is either coming out in graphic novel form or is already out there. I’ll have to check into it. I’d love to see what Richard and Jean Claude might look like:-)

    My teenage girls in the writing group at the Enfield Public Library LOVE graphic novels and Manga. You’ve given me the idea to devote a week or two of exploring which ones are their favorites and why. Thanks, Casey!

    1. Yay! Glad I could help you out. I know the library had Laurell K. (she’s been out for a few years) and I think they may have the Patricia Briggs too (at least I hope so). I’ve seen the Outlander GN and it is really nice.

  4. I haven’t really gotten into graphic novels (though I loved comic books as a kid) yet. I have thumbed through them. The art is beautiful on every one I’ve ever looked at. But you know what I admire most about graphic novels? The way the words on the page are distilled down to their barest essence. If you were to count up the words in a graphic novel, you’d probably be looking at, what, 1,500 or less? (I’ve never actually counted them, so I don’t really know, but it’s low!) And the author is telling an entire story in those few words (of course, it’s the art that really completes the story.) It’s almost like poetry in its simplicity. You think writing a synopsis is hard? Condense that further and actually tell an entertaining story. That’s a graphic novel.

  5. Casey, great timing on your post with NYC’s Comic Con taking place next week. And with that comment, I’ll clarify, no, I have read any graphic comics, but my son LOVES them. First he was hooked an the Japanese manga, then into the traditional comic books. I did buy him James Paterson’s Wiches & Wizards. I might end of picking one up after attending the event next week where two of my favorite authors are attending:Kim Harrison and Patricia Briggs, not to mention Anton Strout will be there.
    I think I still associate graphic novels and comic books to the Archies, the Peanuts and Garfield (all of which I love). But I also love KH and PB, so I just might have to do a little exploring.

    1. One of these years I’m dragging my hubby to a comic con. I’ve never been to the really big ones. Have a great time! I hope you get to meet Kim and Patricia – I love their books too.

      1. Casey, Kim is very sweet and a bit shy – met her at RWA nationals.
        Susannah, will do on both accounts!

  6. I’m open to it. Hey, at least now you will get reades who won’t read something unless it has pictures. I would be interested in finding out more about this new innovation for novels. I love anything new and outside of the box.

    1. They are pretty cool. And the art work varies depending on the style of the book. Some, like Sherrilyn Kenyon’s DH series are manga style (black and white – line drawing), while others like Outlander are Marvel/DC comic style (full blown color, more realistic looking).

  7. No, haven’t read a graphic novel. But there’s a lot buzz about them. My granddaughter is an artist and she writes and draws her own. She’s into Manga (whatever that is). Maybe someday she’ll be on graphic shelves.

    1. Manga are Japanese graphic novels. They are hugely popular in Japan and gaining in popularity here. My kids love them and we follow a few series.

      It would be awesome if your grandaughter continued her studies as an artist! I have very few regrets in life and one of them is – I talked myself out of going to art school. What a dumb decision on my part. I think the Doubt Monster was ruling my brain back then. So, please – to your grandaughter – don’t ever stop drawing!

  8. Girl, did you touch upon a delicate subject for me. I read them way back when, drawing wonder woman til my fingers froze, then threw them away in big bunches when mother told me to get rid of them. Sad face…even my sons Mad comics got ditched away back when. He was appalled. Do I love graphics, you bet. I even enjoyed remembering. Thanks for this wonderful post.

    1. Have you considered branching into graphic novel art Gail? I’d bet you’d find some takers. And yes, I know many of us have tossed out childhood stuff and later regretted it. With my books and comics, I’m so happy they survived intact. Mostly.

  9. I was in chorus ,band and now I spend hours locked away writing. I don’t think my street cred would survive if anybody saw me with a graphic novel, comic book or otherwise.

  10. Somewhere around here I have a graphic novel version of Proust. No kidding – REMEMBRANCES OF THINGS PAST. I loaned a friend a cool graphic novel of a Poe story done with arty photos, but it never returned home. (“Lassie! Lassie! Come baaaaack!” ) I have a couple of Jim Butcher’s and one of Laurel K. Hamilton’s. Frankly, I miss that Poe story because it was like two art forms merged.

    1. Rhonda – that is totally cool! I hope you get the Poe book back. I will have to look for one of those. I love Poe and his stories must be awesome in graphic art form.

  11. I grew up reading comics, too, and still read graphic novels from time to time… Some favs = David Mack’s Kabuki series and Alan Moore’s Promethea series.

    1. Hi Anne! I will have to check those out. I’ve not heard of either of them. Sadly, the one comic book store in our mall closed last year. My hubby and I used to browse the aisles, marvelling (no pun intended) at all the different books out there now.

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