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Graphic Novels: Everything You Need to Know PDF, ePub eBook

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Graphic Novels: Everything You Need to Know

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Graphic Novels: Everything You Need to Know PDF, ePub eBook Graphic novels, long stories told in comics format, have enjoyed the fastest-growing sales of any category of book in the U.S. over the last four years. This modern renaissance of comics has produced a library of substantial works, whose subjects are not confined to superheroes or fantasy but are as varied and sophisticated as the best films and literature. Graphic Novels p Graphic novels, long stories told in comics format, have enjoyed the fastest-growing sales of any category of book in the U.S. over the last four years. This modern renaissance of comics has produced a library of substantial works, whose subjects are not confined to superheroes or fantasy but are as varied and sophisticated as the best films and literature. Graphic Novels presents an accessible, entertaining, and highly illustrated guide to the diversity of contemporary comics in book form. Featuring striking graphics and explanatory extracts from a wide range of graphic novels, the book examines the specific language of the comics medium; the history and pioneers of the form; recent masterpieces from Art Spiegelman's Maus to Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan; the impact of Japanese manga and European albums translated into English; how artists have overcome prejudices towards the genre; and the ambitious range of themes and issues artists are addressing, including childhood, war and survival, politics, the future, sexuality, and the supernatural.

30 review for Graphic Novels: Everything You Need to Know

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    This is an intriguing book. At first glance - it feels like the author is trying too hard to make graphic novels a reputable and noble literary form - with chapters called - things to hate about comic and stories to change your life you can see the author is aiming high, sometimes it feels a little too high. I almost felt as if I had stumbled upon some forgotten New York best seller or the making of a modern classic when it actual fact they are books that rely as much on images as on words. Now This is an intriguing book. At first glance - it feels like the author is trying too hard to make graphic novels a reputable and noble literary form - with chapters called - things to hate about comic and stories to change your life you can see the author is aiming high, sometimes it feels a little too high. I almost felt as if I had stumbled upon some forgotten New York best seller or the making of a modern classic when it actual fact they are books that rely as much on images as on words. Now don't get me wrong I love graphic novels and comics and I wish I could afford more - but this book I think is trying a little too hard to justify and legitimise their consideration - why can you not just enjoy them and take them for what they are and accept that the creators of such books want to tell a different story than those of text alone. But when you dig a little deeper you realise that there is a gold mine of cross references and subject links along with some fascinating suggested reading. Its like the author went to huge amounts of effort and amassed a lot of material only for an editor to say this is what we are looking for - and totally ignore everything else he has. I also get the feeling that the titles chosen though no X men or Marvel character has excluded the more famous (with possibly the exception of Batman) because it would lower the tone. That said if you want to explore the form without the trappings of the super famous or series which have runs that go in to the triple figures this book is a great place to start, you may just have to be prepared to dig a little deeper.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Gravett starts with 30 of his favorite classic graphic novels such as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's Watchmen, Art Spiegelman's Maus, and Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series. The rest of the book examines those titles and others like them, showing sample pages with directions on how to read them and pointing out themes, keywords, and special features. The book is well organized with each chapter having a theme and Gravett includes a few paragraphs about the history of graphic novels pertaining to th Gravett starts with 30 of his favorite classic graphic novels such as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's Watchmen, Art Spiegelman's Maus, and Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series. The rest of the book examines those titles and others like them, showing sample pages with directions on how to read them and pointing out themes, keywords, and special features. The book is well organized with each chapter having a theme and Gravett includes a few paragraphs about the history of graphic novels pertaining to the theme/topic at the beginning of each chapter. I found the book to be interesting and others will too if they are interested in learning more about graphic novels. I did find the size of the book to be too cumbersome to lay in bed to read, but no one asked me!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Hung

    I think it's interesting, and perhaps telling, that the UK and US editions of this book are exactly the same except for one detail: the UK edition is subtitled "Stories to Change Your Life" and the US edition is subtitled "Everything You Need to Know." (see here) To me, the subtitles suggest two rather different goals. And while Gravett aims to achieve both (nothing wrong with that), I wish he'd focused more on the changing of lives aspect. I'm a relative neophyte when it comes to graphic novels, I think it's interesting, and perhaps telling, that the UK and US editions of this book are exactly the same except for one detail: the UK edition is subtitled "Stories to Change Your Life" and the US edition is subtitled "Everything You Need to Know." (see here) To me, the subtitles suggest two rather different goals. And while Gravett aims to achieve both (nothing wrong with that), I wish he'd focused more on the changing of lives aspect. I'm a relative neophyte when it comes to graphic novels, and I still felt (at times) like I was being talked down to. Example: the "Why I hate comics" section. I understand that, in endeavoring to tell us everything we need to know, the evangelist/apologist in Gravett feels some need to "legitimize" graphic novels and enlighten us to their history and literary worth. Indeed an over-arching theme in the book is how GN's are coming into their own in the literary world--and deservedly so (with many quotations from authors like David Eggers, Michael Chabon, and even Goethe to back him up). I just think that in an otherwise pretty smart, sophisticated book, he falters a bit when he assumes the readers need more convincing and/or hand-holding than we really do. That said, this is a very impressive work in terms of its breadth, organization, and informativeness. He name-checks most all of the recognized seminal works in this young genre while also spotlighting many other GN's he feels worthy of attention. The 2-page "In focus" breakdowns of various titles are gorgeous to look at and offer good insight. All the titles are organized into 10 loose categories (each prefaced with a thoughtful essay), and all the titles are cross-indexed with keywords at the the bottom of the page to encourage browsing by interest. As a new student to the genre, I got a great deal out of this book. If there's a better primer on the world of graphic novels, I will be happy to read it as well

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I can't say I've actually read this, because it's more of a reference than something I'd sit down and read. For the beginner and the amateur (but not the connoisseur), Graphic Novels is a valuable resource and a handy guide. It's basically an annotated, illustrated list of the graphic novels that mean the most in the industry today.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anissa

    Gravett focuses on graphic novels primarily as a literary form; if you're looking for an in-depth discussion of the visual aesthetic, you want to look elsewhere. However, if you're interested in learning about a number of relatively easy to access (one of Gravett's criteria for examination) graphic novels from around the world (all in English, another of Gravett's criteria for examination)then this book is definitely worth your time. I particularly found the "____(graphic novel title) in Focus" Gravett focuses on graphic novels primarily as a literary form; if you're looking for an in-depth discussion of the visual aesthetic, you want to look elsewhere. However, if you're interested in learning about a number of relatively easy to access (one of Gravett's criteria for examination) graphic novels from around the world (all in English, another of Gravett's criteria for examination)then this book is definitely worth your time. I particularly found the "____(graphic novel title) in Focus" sections interesting and helpful when thinking about what books to check out and why. It's clear that Gravett appreciates the medium and has thought long and hard about its place in various genres -- from western, to police procedural, to autobiography, to history. If you're interested in discovering critically acclaimed or just plain intriguing texts, this book will likely help you find them.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Wayne

    Picked this up at powell's in seattle, (the bookstore that goes on for DAYS...) It's not a graphic novel per se, but a collection of tidbits of a selection of graphic novels that the editor think you should read, of which many are LAME. It's big and oversized and maybe suits the need for a coffee table coaster, but that's about it! (the one saving grace is, they do include Alan Moore; (the Watchmen, V is for Vendetta, but if you're into comics, you already know those...)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I'm working my way through this one slowly, attempting to read ALL the titles Gravett mentions while heavily relying on public library systems and inter-library loan to obtain them (most likely with a few side-trips to the privately-financed Skillman Lending Library). It's a worthwhile journey, but it's gonna take a helluva long time. (P.S. New York Public Library, I still hate you. Brooklyn Public Library, let's be BFFs 4eva!)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Meghan Douglas

    This is a useful reference for the genre and would equally suit English teachers, students and those discovering graphic novels independently. Gravett discusses common themes in the genre and includes analyses if key texts. I'm sure that graphic novel aficionados will quibble with his selection of "stories to change your life", but for the novice reader this remains a helpful introduction.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sandi

    This book discusses the graphic novel and provides many reprints of actual sequences from major works with the authors notes of explanation to help the reader interpret the work. Because of the subject matter of some of the illustrations, this book is best used in High School libriaries. Good source for research projects on graphic novels, anime, comics undustry.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Garren

    I'm not going to read this straight through, but I do want to recommend it strongly to the librarians and graphic novel fans in my GoodReads feed. It focuses on one graphic novel on a two page spread, then gives 4-5 others of similar themes on the next page. Great format for exploring the breadth of what's out there. Danger: Your to-read list will grow!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Salsabrarian

    "Everything you need to know" about the graphic novel genre, generously ilustrated by panels of selected titles dissected and analyzed for the art and text content. Each chapter focuses on a theme presented in graphic novels such as childhood, horror, love and war. A resource list in the back lists relevant websites, readings and festivals.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eric Orchard

    A smart and much needed guide to comics. Done in a recommended if you like style it presents many comics I'd not heard of but look really exciting.While I disagreed sometimes with books he associate with each other it's still a great book,the author has great taste and this is a great tool for exploring the worlds of comics.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Gave me a few intriguing titles to search for, but in and of itself worth little more than a bookstore flip-through. I only selected it because I've otherwise exhausted my local library's modest comics supply, and I don't like exchanging monies for goods.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hillingdon Libraries

    Find this book at Hillingdon Libraries

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    A good reference book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Very informative, I learned a lot. Some parts were a bit dry but it was clearly well researched and well put together.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ian Coutts

    I can't believe how many graphic novels can be summed up with the words "In a dystopian future..." Still, that's not the author's fault.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jamil

    This may be my favorite & the best graphic novel reference book of all time. Great resource for recommendations & interlibrary loan requests. Paul Gravett knows his comics.

  19. 5 out of 5

    lucy black

    i didn't need to know half of that

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    In my neverending quest to educate myself, I checked this one out from my library.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Minka

    'Stories to Change Your Life' - not really. I thought I'd find some comics that I'd really like to read but was disappointed. I'd need magnifying glass to see some of the samples.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mark Fearing

    One of the best 'what's this all about' books.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jameson Jay

  24. 5 out of 5

    Methuselah Jah

  25. 5 out of 5

    Squazzy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

  27. 5 out of 5

    karen

  28. 5 out of 5

    Louise Goodwin

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Simins

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