Graphic Novels

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Posted by Baz (1st Mar 2004, 14:12)

Originally published in Wyrmtongue March 2004.

Now, I know there is a certain belief that "Graphic Novel" is simply a pretentious term for a comic-book - but personally I'd maintain that there is actually a large difference between the way that Graphic Novels are plotted (more like a book) and the way that comics are plotted (which more closely resembles the plotting of a TV serial). The library has a sizeable collection of both Graphic Novels and Comics - including the ever popular Cerebus (about a man born by an accident of circumstance as an Aadvark, living as a fantasy warrior), and the complete collected "Sluggy Freelance" (in which a freelance web designer and his freelance inventor friend have crazy adventures, travel through time, meet aliens, and get mixed up with the dread "book of e-ville" and its mistress - K'Z'K the vowelless), and last but certainly never least thew most popular graphic novel series of all time - The Sandman by Neil Gaiman.

The Sandman series is composed of ten volumes which contain a single ongoing story concerning the "life" (existence might be a better term) of Lord Morpheus the personified ruler of the concept of dreams, tales, and stories. Part of the draw and interest of he series is the way in which the secondary characters (from the wonderful Death, to the immortal Hob Gadling, even unto the truly remarkable Delirium) are described with a fully textured roundness which is found so rarely in novels of any kind - let alone graphic ones. In fact the characters in this series are so well-fleshed out that even the single-minded embodiments of a simple concept (like Death or Delirium mentioned above) manage to seem like fully realistic people - as well as being iconic and alien.

The Sandman series has become so popular that two of the characters (Death and Lucifer) have spawned their own spin-off books, and a number of collections have been made of comic stories set in the sandman world - under the titles "The Dreaming" and "Sandman Presents:". Personally I loved Sandman, The first Death novel, and Lucifer - but the rest left me rather cold.

About item:

- Cerebus 1: Cerebus
- Sluggy 1: Is It Not Nifty?
- The Sandman 1: Preludes & Nocturnes

Related items:

About author:

- Sim, Dave
- Abrams, Pete
- Gaiman, Neil

Related authors:

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