Here’s a question I can’t believe people still ask: “Are graphic novels real books?”
Anyone who has read Maus, The Sandman, Ghost World, or anything by Alan Moore know very well that the answer to that somewhat ridiculous question is yes. YES. Much like good novels, good graphic novels have intricate stories, richly detailed characters, and believable dialogue. What I love about graphic novels is that, because you’re taking in text and art at the same time, you are kind of forced to slow down and really see what’s happening on the page.
I recently picked up a little pamphlet at the library that talked specifically about how graphic novels can help kids learn to love reading (you can actually view the brochure online here). In case you need convincing that comics & graphic novels are “real books”, here are some of the key points they made:
Graphic novels are visual.
The images, whether they’re in black and white or full colour, take you through the story. It makes reading a bit more interactive and fun. Graphic novels are also great to read aloud while kids watch what happens on the page.
Graphic novels are concise.
Reading graphic novels can be less intimidating because the text is shorter and paired with images, so it’s easier to follow the story. The vocabulary can be more advanced because they have less space to say what they want to say, but the images reinforce the words so kids can follow along and learn as they go.
Graphic novels are diverse.
You might think graphic novels are limited in subject matter, but that’s not the case. You can read fantasy, romance, biography, classics, and non-fiction graphic novels.
If you want to get started with graphic novels, take a look through some of these lists on Goodreads.