Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Best Graphic Novels, Ever...


...even if you don't like graphic novels.*

I have just spent the most lovely afternoon with the Scheckster. The UPS man brought us the most recent Owly story this afternoon, and we snuggled in and read it together. It was so lovely that we read it a second time. Then we got out our previous Owly stories and re-read them as well. All in all a simply smashing way to spend the afternoon....

How did a nice girl like me become a reader of graphic novels? Well, it's not my fault....
My beloved Bubba is the Lord of the comic book guys. I know, I know...but he was like this when I married him, so it's not like I didn't know what I was getting into. He gives me no grief about my reading habits, I don't give him grief about his.

But once Schecky was born, Bubba was determined that he would become "Son of Comic Book Guy". Which I don't have much of a problem with - my parents didn't care what I read, as long as I was reading. I kind of feel the same way with Scheck. Plus, Schecky desperately wants to be "Son of Comic Book Guy". However, most comics really aren't for little kids - too violent, and the women...well, don't even get me started on the parody of feminine archetypes!
Therefore I was delighted to find Andy Runton's Owly. I love everything about this guy - he and his best friend, Wormy are such lovely and subtle role models. They have non-sappy, yet non-scary adventures and life lessons. And the artwork just rocks. The stories are told entirely through pictures, so even the youngest child can "read" along - yet the stories are engrossing enough, and the characters so beautifully expressive that even the grownups can't wait to see what is going to happen.

Plus, I think that Andy Runton is an Atlanta boy, so you can feel good about that too!

There are a few short stories that you can view for free on Runton's website: andyrunton.com. If you've got a second, go check them out - you won't regret the time you spend....


*The first book in the series is called The Way Home & The Bittersweet Summer, I just couldn't find a good sized graphic for it. But it is wonderful, too!

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Could we have more in common?

I'm known for reading books so fast that people think I cheat and just read every other page so my 1st year teaching in Georgia it was the same question everyday at lunch. "Whatcha readin' now, Ms. T.E.?"

One day the response was, "The Sandman Libary volume VI: Fables & Reflections."

"What's that?"

"A graphic novel about the endless."

At least one fork dropped and not another word was spoken for at least 3 minutes. I couldn't really understand why, but I had scarfed down my food and was off to hide in my classroom to read for the 15 minutes until I had to pick up my 19 first graders at the cafeteria door.

I opened my book and was immediately interrupted by a knock at my door, "Ms. T.E., Mrs. Latham would like to see you." I trooped all the way back to the front of the school to be told that my principal had heard rumor that I might have pornographic materials on school grounds and wanted to give me the opportunity to explain myself before she called the county office.

I smiled a big smile, "A graphic novel is simply a collection of comic issues into a book form. Kinda like how the Bible is all those little books put together."