So I mentioned wayyy back in my resolutions for 2017 post that I wanted to try graphic novels this year. Over the course of the last couple of months, I’ve made good on that promise and *finally* checked out some graphic novels! And cos this was such a unique experience for me, I thought it would be fun to share what I thought of them in One Big Ol’ Wrap Up Post!! Many of these were recommended by the lovely Lashaan over @Bookidote– thank you so much for your suggestions!
The Walking Dead– Volume 1- So this was my first experience of a graphic novel and I really enjoyed it. I picked it up on a whim, because I’d seen the show and thought it’d be fun to read. And though I’ve seen a fair amount of the TV show, I ended up getting a lot more out of it than I expected. I loved the design and how action packed it was. Maybe it was the familiarity of the story, but I honestly felt like I did connect with the characters in this. I’ve always liked the deep, dark questions this story asks, so I can happily say this was an excellent way to get into graphic novels and the start of a b-e-a-utiful friendship…
Rating: 4/5 bananas
V For Vendetta– I can see the cult-like appeal of this one for sure. I honestly loved the artwork. It was denser than the Walking Dead, but it was so cleverly done and I loved the artistic style of it. In terms of characters, I liked the enigmatic and mysterious V (who doesn’t?) but did find it harder to connect with Evey, though I liked how she grew as a character over the course of the story, especially after she was freed from her internal “cage”. As for the story… well, I won’t ruin anything here- I just think it’s fantastic how it captures the feel of an oppressive government.
Rating: 4½/5 bananas
The Sandman– Volumes 1-4- personally, I found this style a bit more surreal and therefore harder for me to follow. And there were other downsides- for instance, in the first volume, for instance, I did find the build-up slow, but that it picked up when the Sandman was released. Plus while very imaginative, it could be a little confusing story-wise at times. Overall, though, I did find the narratives always came together by the end. Some of the volumes had more meat on them than others- but ultimately I enjoyed every single on I read. I also have to say I started with just one volume on this wrap up, but it was so addictive that I couldn’t stop reading this series- I’m certain I’ll keep on with it!!
Rating: 3½/5 bananas
Watchmen– I can see some reasons why this is super popular. In particular, I’d say the characterisation is interesting- unfortunately I just didn’t connect with anyone in the story. In fact there wasn’t very much I connected with at all. I don’t know what it was about it- maybe my not being of the comicbook world or finding the illustrations less exciting than the other books on this list, but I’d definitely say, this one wasn’t for me.
Rating: 2/5 bananas
The Complete Maus– this was UNBELIEVABLE! I can easily say this was my favourite. The style was incredible, it was phenomenally moving and I loved the interaction between the characters. I liked how it flicked through the timeline, back and forth from the Holocaust to the present day. That technique together with not shying away from anything- not what happened or who is father was- gave this graphic novel its sense of realness and humanised Art Spiegelman’s father. What was incredible about this book was that it not only told the story of those that died and those that survived, but also that of how child of a survivor is affected. It is a story of those left behind- the scope of the tale reaching beyond death, both to the people in the narrative and his father who has died by the time of the second volume. The cartoonist continuing to connect with his father through the tapes of their interviews is one of the more beautiful aspects of this book. Whether you are a fan or graphic novels or not, I can really recommend this book.
Rating: 5/5 bananas
And that’s a WRAP! I hope you enjoyed that!! Do you read graphic novels? Which are your favourites? I’d love more suggestions on what to try next!