I’ve always been a great supporter of graphic novels. I love the way they encourage reluctant readers to eat up entire series because they don’t look like a traditional novel. I love the colors and details in their artwork. I love the way their pages feel. As a kid I read the Bone series by Jeff Smith, and when I found out they were being published in collective volumes, I nearly did a dance at work.
I have to admit that I haven’t really read many graphic novels in my adult life. Perhaps this is because of how messy the graphic novel section is at work, or perhaps because they are more expensive than my cheesy romance novels–who knows? Of course I’ve read the classics like the Watchmen, but when it comes to reading, I tend to favor the wordier novels.
Recently a coworker suggested I read Runaways, a Marvel series written by Brian Vaughan. I read the first four books over the last three days. I love them! When I go into work tomorrow, I plan on inter-library loaning the rest of them. Some reviews I read of this series said that the plot was poorly constructed, the characters predictable and the artwork sloppy. I’m not sure I agree with that. The story is about a group of teens that discover their parents are actually super-villains. They run away from home, and together bring their evil parents down. In my opinion, I think the plot is great. It’s a young adult series, and what young adult hasn’t at one point felt that their parents were the worst parents in the universe? Even if this plot is predictable, it is comforting to read a story about teens who definitely have the worst parents in the world. And the best part is they do something about it. The girls in the ground don’t need to be rescued and there is even a little bit of romance! Also, when the truth is revealed about the parent’s motivation for their plotting, I had a moment of uncertainty. I wasn’t so sure they were as evil as I had pinned them for. This moral debate is proof enough for me that this isn’t just some cheap teen story.
Also, the art is better than anything I could have ever pulled off, so I was pretty pleased with that as well. Disclaimer: I’m not so sure how valid my opinion of art is. I’m pretty easily impressed by bright colors and pretty things. Just sayin’.
I’m currently reading book one of The Walking Dead. Let me tell you: I love zombies. I don’t enjoy them, or kind of find them interesting–I adore post-apocalyptic tales involving some vicious reanimated corpses. In a small, secret part of my soul, I know I am totally ready to take on some zombies when the world ends. I have a bat, a battle playlist on my ipod. Danielle is SET! However, I digress. So far, this graphic novel has not disappointed me. I was even a little bit nervous to go down into the basement without the lights on after finishing the first half (an excellent sign, in my opinion). I can’t wait to read the rest of them. I will warn readers that this series is a bit graphic and might not be appropriate for younger audiences. For me it has the right amount of terror, gore, violence and stress to content that zombie-loving part of my soul.
After I get my hands on the latest volumes of these two series, I am going to start Y: The Last Man by Brian Vaughan and The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman (who, for those who don’t know me well, I have an author-crush on). I can’t wait!