Some Graphic Novel Basics
Graphic novels use text and pictures to present information
Graphic novels use the same format as comic books Graphic novels
differ from comics in that they usually contain stand-alone stories
with complex plotsGraphic novel is a format, not a genre
Milestones in Graphic Novel World 1978-Will Eisner coins term
graphic novel to distinguish his book A Contract With God from
traditional comic books. (Although the term and others similar to
it were used previously, this was the GN that facilitated adoption
of the term on an official level).
Milestones in Graphic Novel World 1986- Batman: The Dark Knight
Returns written by Frank Miller and published by DC Comics, is
released. This reintroduced Batman to the general public in his
more psychologically dark 1930s era conception. This new
incarnation was dark and troubled and ushered in an era of grim and
Milestones in Graphic Novel World 1987- The Watchmen by Alan
Moore (illustrated by Dave Gibbons), is published by DC Comics. One
of the first superhero graphic novels to present itself as serious
literature, its the only graphic novel to ever win the Hugo Award.
It is also the only graphic novel to appear on Time Magazines 2005
list: The 100 Best English Language Novels from 1923 to the
Milestones in Graphic Novel World 1992-Maus: A Survivors Tale
written by Art Spielgelman, wins the Pulitzer Prize Special Award
Milestones in Graphic Novel World 2005-Graphix Scholastics
graphic novel imprint for children is launched.
Milestones in Graphic Novel World 2006-Gene Yangs American Born
Chinese is a National Book Award finalist in the category of Young
Peoples Literature and in 2007 it wins the Michael L. Printz award
for excellence in Young Adult literature.
How to read a graphic novel
A Graphic Novel PagePages consist of a variety of elements
Panels-squares or rectangles that contain a single scene
Gutters-space between panels
Dialogue Balloons-contain communication between/among
Thought Balloons-contain a characters thoughts
Captions-contain information about a scene or character
Sound Effects-visual sound clues i.e.. Wonk! Pow!
Thought BalloonSound Effect
How to Read a Graphic Novel PageGraphic novels are read left to
right, just like traditional texts
Dialogue BalloonsDialogue balloons are read left to right or top
to bottom as is appropriate. 12354
Sometimes it can get a little more complicated
1324But the basic left to right rule still applies to panels
and dialogue balloons as well1234567
*************Superhero Story: Superhero graphic novels have
taken the most popular form of comics and turned what were once
brief episodic adventures into epic sagas. Superhero comics are
dominated by a few mainstream publishers Marvel, DC, and Darkhorse.
Titles: Batman: Dark Knight Returns, League of Extraordinary
Gentlemen, Astrocity. *****Jay Hosler: PhD in Biology (teaches at
Juniata College in Huntington, PA)********Also: Give it Up! And
other short stories by Kafka, The Jungle, Spy vs.
Spy********Personal Narratives ("Perzines"): are autobiographical
stories written from the author's personal experiences, opinions,
and observations. Titles: Fun Home, Blankets, Lucky, The Quitter.
****Brian Selznick blends text and visual (text-less) narrative to
produce more than an illustrated novel.
Jeff Kinney Diary of a Wimpy Kid also uses pictures (with word
balloons) to advance the story.