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Graphic Novels (redirected from Graphic novels)

Page history last edited by Tamara Simons 5 years, 8 months ago


 A graphic novel is a type of narrative work that is in comic book format. Do not confuse comic books and graphic novels to be the same; they are not. The difference is that a comic book tells a part of a story in one book and a graphic novel completes the story from beginning to end in one book. They are very similar because of the style. Graphic novels use pictures to tell the story rather than all words. [1][2] These books tend to be liked more by people considered non-readers. [4] One type of graphic novel is manga. Manga, which means comic in Japanese, is based on Japanese culture and drawing techniques. Although manga is very different from American comics it's still very popular. [5]

                   The development of graphic novels has evolved over a long period of time. The earliest examples of stories with pictures are cave paintings and hieroglyphics such as San rock in Southern Africa [10]. In ancient civilizations, much of the population couldn’t read, so drawings and cartoons were used to show ideas.

                    In 1732, Benjamin Franklin published Poor Richard’s Almanac, which contained satirical cartoons to help the cause of the American Revolution. [5]  Years later in 1842, Rodolphe Toffer wrote The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck, which earned him the title "Father of Modern Comics". Toffer's work was first published in the United Sates a few later after it was written in a magazine by a man named Benjamin Henry Day. When Day did this, he introduced the United States to the idea of telling stories in "comic", or "graphic novel" form, which spiked the interest of readers. Newspapers began to collect all the comics that they published into books for people to purchase outside of the standard newspapers. Then in the early 1900's, the newspaper companies began to slack off on the productions of these types of books even though there was still a demand for them. This caused the rise of individual comic companies. In the mid-1900's the majority of the authors that drew and created these works were sent off to war. When they came back they had better and more entertaining stories for their audiences, which increased the demand even more. However, the new stories that were being written were focused around "super heroes" and adventurous quests, which was seen as childish. In 1978, Will Eisner published A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories, considered one of the first true graphic novels. The novel showed readers that graphic novels in general were for a wide range of audiences. [11]

                    Even though it may seem hard to believe, graphic novels actually offer some of the same benefits that regular books offer. They introduce young people to a wide range of vocabulary, stories, and information just as normal books would. Stephen Weiner reported that, “Researchers concluded that the average graphic novel introduced readers to twice as many words as the average children’s book.” [6] Even the American Library Association’s Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) held a preconference on graphic novels in 2002, using the title “Get Graphic @ The Library” for the Teen Read Week theme in that same year. [7]

                    Graphic novels have become quite popular throughout the years. In 2001, sales were estimated at about seventy-five million dollars. By 2006, sales had nearly multiplied five times, being estimated at about three hundred and thirty million dollars. [8] The types of graphic novels are superhero stories, manga, non-fiction, adaptations or spinoffs, satire, fantasies, and personal narratives. [9] Manga, or Japanese graphic novels, are becoming the most popular type. [8] Since the introduction of the graphic novel category in 2004, Scholastic Book Fairs have sold more than four million in that genre. Even famous writers and musicians have turned to graphic novels, including Stephen King, Avril Lavigne, and Anthony Horowitz. They have become more popular than comics, being called “the most popular format” in 2007. [9]



1. "Graphic Novels." Wikipedia. 10Dec2010. Web. 2Dec2010 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphic_novel>


2. Tychinski, Stan. "A Brief History of the Graphic Novel." Brodart. 2004. Web. 2Dec2010. <http://www.graphicnovels.brodart.com/history.htm>


3. "Manga."Wikipedia.09Dec2010. Web. 3Dec2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/manga>


4. Donelson, Kenneth L and Aleen Pace Nilson.Literature for Todays Young Adults. New York: Pearson Education, 2005.


5. Tychinski, Stan. "Graphic Novels." BroDart. N.p., 2004. Web. 07 Dec. 2012. <http://www.graphicnovels.brodart.com/history.htm>


6. "Graphic Novels." Ipl2. Drexel University, 2012. Web. 07 Dec. 2012. <http://www.ipl.org/div/graphicnovels/>


7. Kan, Kat. "Getting Graphic At The School Library." EBSCO HOST. EBSCO Industries, 9 Apr. 2003. Web. 6 Dec. 2012.  


8. Grabois, Andrew. "Graphic Novels." Beneath the Cover. DISQUS, 20 Aug. 2007. Web. 07 Dec. 2012. <http://www.beneaththecover.com/2007/08/20/graphic-novels/>


9. Graphic Novels in Libraries What, Why, and How. Buffalo, Erie: Buffalo and Erie County Public Library and Partnering Organizations, 2007. PDF.


10. Petersen, Robert S. Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels: A History of Graphic Narratives. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2011. EBSCO       Host. Web. 4 May 2015.


11. "graphic novel". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2015. Web. 04 May. 2015


Comments (1)

Sarah said

at 3:36 pm on Dec 4, 2012

I really enjoy graphic novels. Even though I prefer novels without pictures in them, it's nice to have a quick and easy read with graphics to look at every now and then.

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