Graphic Novels, Comics and I

Many children and young adults seem to love comics and graphic novels. But I wasn’t much of a fan when I was younger. I recall buying Disney comics in the summer to read on the beach and almost always never finishing them. If I remember correctly, my main problem was having to read the dialogues on the speech balloons, maybe because the font and the panels were too small. I much preferred reading illustrated novels.

However, some graphic novels and comics have been catching my eye since the beginning of last year, and I even ended up reading two in order to realise if my feelings towards this way of telling a story had changed. The first one I read was The Black Project by Gareth Brookes. Its main character is a really ingenious boy who wants to create his own girlfriend. I was a bit disappointed by the ending and the lack of colour, although it was rather funny at parts. Afterwards, I decided to read The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg and quite liked it. This graphic novel about the power of love and storytelling made me appreciate much more the conveying of ideas through images combined with text and other visual information.

I discovered then that there are various genres of graphic novels, including fiction, non-fiction and anthologies, and that they differ from comic books, because these are periodicals, while the first ones are single works. I was also wrong to think that all pages featured the same amount of small squared panels with drawings and speech balloons inside. Many graphic novels and comics have drawings occupying full pages, or panels in a variety of sizes and formats. Furthermore, the illustrations can be much more appealing than I first thought. I’m not particularly tempted to read those with simple drawings in black and white. Instead, I prefer a wide-ranging palette of colours. Continue reading

‘The Black Project’ by Gareth Brookes

My rating: 3 stars

One of my resolutions for 2017 was to try reading graphic novels and comics again. I have never been much of a fan and hadn’t read one in a really long time. The Black Project by Gareth Brookes seemed like a good place to start reading them once more, because it doesn’t have many speech balloons, which is the graphic novels’ element that has annoyed me the most since my childhood years.

Richard, the main protagonist of this story, is a really creative boy. But the ways in which he uses that creativity are quite unusual – he creates his own girlfriends. The biggest problem is that it isn’t easy for him to keep them a secret.

The story being told is quite funny in parts, especially in the way that Richard deals with sexuality and discovering how women’s bodies work. As the narration is done in the first person, all his doubts and misconceptions are unadulterated and sound real. I was expecting the story to have a more terrifying strand, though, which is definitely not the case. The ending was also a bit too simplistic in comparison to what the events were building to. Continue reading

Book Haul – January 2017

New year, new books. Well, at least they are new to my shelves. At the beginning of this month I bought a few books that I have either been wanting to read for a while or that I have discovered more recently. During this year, I will try to read both the books that I just bought and the ones that I already owned before buying new ones. However, I have a feeling that won’t happen and that I will fall to the temptation of buying more books.

These are the book I bought this month:

The Muse by Jessie Burton

I loved Jessie Burton’s debut novel, The Miniaturist, and ever since The Muse was released I have been wanting to read it. However, as I much prefer paperbacks, I patiently waited until now. I plan to read it pretty soon to know everything about a lost masterpiece and the connection between the characters from two time periods – 1967 and 1936.

 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

This book has been on my wish list for years. As an adaptation for TV will be broadcasted pretty soon, I thought this was the perfect time to finally buy it and read it. Continue reading