Graphic Novels—or just Comics? ELE 616 Research in Children's Literature Fall 2009

Graphic novels elementary 2007

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Graphic Novels—or

just Comics?

ELE 616Research in Children's Literature

Fall 2009

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 2

What is a Graphic Novel?

Define graphic? S: (adj) graphic, graphical, in writing

(written or drawn or engraved) "graphic symbols" S: (adj) graphic (describing nudity or sexual

activity in graphic detail) "graphic sexual scenes" S: (adj) graphic (of or relating to the graphic arts)

"the etchings, drypoints, lithographs, and engravings which together form his graphic work"- British Book News

S: (adj) graphic, graphical (relating to or presented by a graph) "a graphic presentation of the data"

S: (adj) graphic, lifelike, pictorial, vivid (evoking lifelike images within the mind) "pictorial poetry and prose"; "graphic accounts of battle"; "a lifelike portrait"; "a vivid description"

WordNet: a lexical database for the English


Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 3

What is a Graphic Novel?


Suddenly a totally new genre is every where we look. Is a graphic novel a comic book? Yes, sort of, not quite. It looks like a comic book, sort of.

Is it a "novel?" Yes, because it tells a fictional story of some length.

What makes it "graphic?" Well, a great deal of the story is told by the pictures, the graphics. Which makes graphic novels a new way to read.

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 4

Define Graphic Novel?

graphic novel A term coined by Will Eisner to describe his semi-autobiographical novel A Contract with God (1978), written and illustrated in comic book style, the first work in a new genre that presents an extended narrative as a continuous sequence of pictorial images printed in color and arranged in panel-to-panel format, with dialogue given in captions or enclosed in balloons. . . . This new literary form is viewed with suspicion by traditionalists who regard it as a marketing ploy aimed at attracting adult readers to comic books by removing the stigma attached to them. Click here to connect to the Yahoo! list of graphic novel Web sites. See also: fotonovela.

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 5

A Contract With God?

A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories

This collection of

four stories takes us back to the Bronx of the 1930s as seen through Eisner's own eyes, when tenement blocks were crammed with European immigrants jostling their way to a better life.

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 6

Another pioneering

graphic novel

Maus: A Survivor's Tale a memoir presented as a graphic novel by

Art Spiegelman. It recounts Spiegelman's father's struggle to survive the Holocaust as a Polish Jew and draws largely on his father's recollections of events he personally experienced. The book also follows the author's troubled relationship with his father and the way the effects of war reverberate through generations of a family. In 1992 it won a Pulitzer Prize Special Award.

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 7

Aren’t they just book-length


Graphic novels represent a format, rather than a genre. Comics are presented in a format defined

as sequential art – thus the panels, the text bubbles, and all of the usual trademarks of your local newspaper’s comic strips. In terms of genre, remember that while superhero tales traditionally dominated the comics industry in the U.S., today's graphic novels range into every possible genre, from literary fiction to memoir to fantasy.

• More Than Words: Graphic Novels in Kentucky's Libraries.Graphic Novels: Where to Start? By Robin Brenner

Benefits of graphic novels?

Benefits of reading and using graphic novels include, but are not limited to, sequencing and showing dialogue between characters. Most importantly, graphic novels can hook reluctant readers into becoming interested and enthusiastic readers.

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 8

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 11

Graphic Novels for Young Adults

No Flying, No Tights Why is this site here?

I just want to broadcast my opinions to the world! Actually, no -- I decided to create a page devoted to graphic novel reviews specifically for those who read them the most -- mainly teens -- and for those who might be involved in distributing them to teens -- namely teachers, librarians, and parents.• Robin Brenner, by day a

mild-mannered library technician at Cary Memorial Library in Lexington, Massachusetts

See alsoGraphic Novels 101: FAQ

But that’s for teens!

This one’s for younger kids!

This site is specifically devoted to presenting graphic novel reviews for kids and those who work with them, including librarians, teachers, and parents. It used to be that comics were, generally, for kids -- but this is no longer true! In today's comics, the stories are most often aimed at adults and teens, and there are fewer and fewer titles for kids. Thus, the creation of

this site to help you all navigate the murky waters of comic book stores and graphic novel sections to make sure you're getting what's right for you!

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 12

For a young child to read a graphic novel, much less a wordless one, many essential literacy skills are required, including the ability to understand a sequence of events, interpret characters’ nonverbal gestures, discern the story’s plot, and make inferences. Best of all, these skills don’t merely apply to Owly or to graphic novels. They are the critical skills that govern all reading comprehension, making Bryonna’s triumph with Owly into a lesson that has also helped her with other reading materials.

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 13


Owly Comics! Owly is a kind, yet

lonely, little owl who knows what it means to be human. Relying on a mixture of symbols and expressions,these animated and heartwarming tales are a perfect read for all ages.

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 14

Pinky and Stinky?

Creator: James Kochalka

The story: Pinky and Stinky are two piglets on a mission to Pluto. Space is a dangerous place, however, and their rocket is hit by an asteroid, forcing them to crash land on the moon.• See Review by Christine

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 17


Meet Buzzboy...the World's most upbeat super hero!

Drawn in the style of the "Adventures" animated TV series, Buzzboy is chock-full of action, humor, and overall weirdness that makes it just good, free-for-all fun.

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 18

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 19Bone: a


A TIME top ten graphic novel Bone combines the humor and look of

early Disney movies with the scope of the Lord of the Rings cycle. Smith draws characters that are both cute and scary, infusing every panel with dynamic energy. The best all-ages novel yet published in this medium, while children will read Bone for its breathless adventure and sight gags, older kids and adults will appreciate the themes of blind fanaticism and corrupting power.All-TIME Graphic Novels

No Bones About It

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 20

Amy Unbounded

Amy of Eddybrook Lodge

Amy Unbounded chronicles the adventures and misadventures of nine-year-old Amy of Eddybrook in the medieval queendom of Goredd. Her father is a weaver, her mother's a barbarian clockmaker, and as for Amy herself... well the word "silly" comes to mind. So does "rambunctious." Sometimes she wishes she were a knight, other times a famous bombarde player, a scholar, or explorer. Her big imagination occasionally gets her in trouble, but just as often gets her right back out of it.

See also *Amy Unbounded: Belondweg Blossoming — Recommended

Native American graphics

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 21

Adventures of Rabbit and Bear Paws is for the young and the young at heart. This series is set in 1750’s colonized North America and features the comical adventures of two brothers, Rabbit and Bear Paws. Using Traditional Native Teachings and humour, the stories are based on THE SEVEN FIRES PROPHECIES and THE SEVEN GRANDFATHERS.

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 22

Nonfiction in graphic format

Graphic Novels, Seriously Despite their nascent popularity, graphic

novels are often still typecast as hewing only to the superhero plot line, invoking the male power fantasy. While fantasy is still a mainstay of the genre, the scope and diversity of the graphic novel has broadened to include much more sophisticated subject matter, including nonfiction, biography, and compelling narratives melded from on-the-ground reporting and research from some of the world's latest war-torn and traumatized regions.• Evan St. Lifer -- School Library Journal, 8/1/2002

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 23

Clan Apis is the biography a honey bee

named Nyuki. Written and drawn by biologist Jay Hosler, this story explores an elaborate insect society. Nyuki has a lot to learn about life in the hive and not much time to do it. But, with help of her sister Dvorah, a dung beetle named Sisyphus and a sarcastic flower named Bloomington, she might have a chance to figure it all out.

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 25

A graphic novel publisher

So, what the heck is Oni Press?

Oni Press, Inc. was founded in 1997 by Joe Nozemack and Bob Schreck with the goal of publishing the kinds of comics and graphic novels they themselves would want to read. Unsatisfied with the material that was dominating the industry, the men believed firmly that sequential art could be used to tell virtually any story.• FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 26

Meet Barry Ween, the smartest living human. What does a ten-year-old boy do with a 350 I.Q.? Anything he wants. Cranky, egotistical, arrogant, and foul-mouthed, Barry wants to conduct his experiments and be left alone, but it never seems to work out. Hurdles that Barry must outmaneuver range from time warps, to art thieves, to accidentally turning his best friend into a dinosaur.

Barry Ween (Series)

Meet the Gang | Preview the IssuesFind Out Why Everyone Loves Barry Ween!

An Oni series

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 28

MangaWhat is Manga?

Manga can be roughly translated as "comic books", in reality it is a much more complex subject. Manga can include almost every subject imaginable from funny stories to serious literature. Technical manuals and even legal case histories have been released in manga format. Looking at some books about manga, especially those of Frederik Schodt, will probably be the best way to understand this unique form of publishing.• Anime and Manga Terminology

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 29

What about anime?

What is anime? (ah-nee-may, is one way to romanize the pronunciation)

Anime, as defined by common fan usage, is simply any animation that is made in Japan for a Japanese audience. In Japan the word simply means any animation made anywhere in the world. Commercial anime dates back to 1917. Modern anime dates from the 1960s with the work of Osamu Tezuka, best known in the U.S. for "Astro Boy", Tetsuwan Atom in the original Japanese.• Anime and Manga Terminology

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 30

Who reads manga?

60% are female While comics feature 50-year-old

superheroes who appeal to boys, manga in the U.S. is often created by women for women of all ages. . . . The 11-to-21-year-old market is huge, says CEO [of Tokyopop, the largest U.S.-owned creator and licensor of manga] Jane Friedman, who predicts steady growth for the category. • America is Drawn to Manga: Why girls--and

publishers--love Japan's comics By COCO MASTERS

• Posted Thursday, Aug. 10, 2006

R.O.D. – Read or Die –Preview the Manga here!

Manga for Boys

Shonen Shonen manga literally means "comics for

boys." The genre includes action-packed, dramatic and humorous stories about sports, adventure, superheroes and sci-fi. These comics are primarily written to appeal to males between the ages of 8 to 18, but its appeal doesn’t stop there: Many girls, young adults and businessmen regularly buy, read and enjoy shonen manga series such as Naruto, Bleach and Slam Dunk.• Introduction to Shonen Manga

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 31

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 32

Graphics Oscars

The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards

: The Awards are given out in more than

two dozen categories covering the best publications and creators of the previous year (such as Best Short Story, Best Graphic Album, Best Writer, and so on). The finalists on the ballot are selected by a blue- ribbon committee that considers thousands of entries submitted by publishers and creators. The nominees are then voted on by all parts of the comic book industry: writers, artists, and other creators; publishers; editors; and retailers and distributors. • The "Oscars" of Comics 

Eisner Awards Winners for 2006

2009 Eisner Winner

Best Publication for Kids:

Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar and Franco (DC)

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 33

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 34

Harveys’ Comics Awards The Harvey Awards are one of

the comic book industry's oldest and most respected awards. The Harveys recognize outstanding achievements in over 20 categories, ranging from Best Artist to the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame. They are the only industry awards both nominated by and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. • History • Harvey Bio

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 36

Ignatz Awards The Ignatz Awards, named

for the character in the classic comic strip Krazy Kat by George Herriman, is a festival prize that recognizes outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning.

Outstanding Online ComicYear of the Rat, Cayetano Garza

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 37

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 38

What is the value of graphic

novels?Graphic novels make a difference

Most of the present focus on graphic novels in relation to libraries highlights their unique ability to encourage reluctant readers to pick up the written word. Graphic novels make 'a bridge between words and ideas, pictures and stories' (101 best graphic novels by Stephen Weiner, p10). Rather than being faced with a page filled with unfamiliar words the hesitant reader is exposed to pictures that help tell a story and connections are made between those pictures and the abstract concepts that words can tell.• Inger Fountain, Sealight Books, inCite: December 2003: feature

Graphic Novels--or Just Comics? 39

Just like “real” books

Shouldn’t kids read real books? . . ., graphic novels offer the same benefits of regular books: introducing young people to new vocabulary, “book language,” and stories and information to teach them about their world and spark their imaginations. In fact, Stephen Weiner reports that “researchers concluded that the average graphic novel introduced readers to twice as many words as the average children’s book”1 and Francisca Goldsmith points out that “the kind of abstraction that competent and comfortable text reading requires is also demanded by the graphic novel.”2 • http://www.ipl.org/div/procrast/graphicnovels/gnsSchoolsN