Graphic novels are gaining in popularity, and my library has a decent selection, so I am trying to read one a month to slowly get into them. I find they take me a long time to read compared to a book the same size because I process words a lot faster than pictures. Paying attention to both the images and the text is challenging for me, I get a couple panes ahead and need to backtrack to read the opposite medium.
August’s graphic novel for me was the Good Neighbours by Holly Black. I picked it because I loved Black’s The White Cat and Tithe. While I didn’t enjoy it as much as her other works, I liked certain elements:
- the way Rue and her friends wear masks in their stunts is parallel with the way the fairies take on human appearances
- the multiple choice way she looks at things, outlining the possibilities of what happened to her mother
I had difficulty because the lore is not explained as well as in her novels. It was too short for me to have a clear understanding and predict things like what happened to the dead girl.
The only two graphic novels I have read before this are Watchmen and Avalon High. Watchmen was a bit over my head and took me a very long time. I could tell it was brilliant but I was too new to graphic novels. Avalon High lacked substance for me, it felt like a movie preview, showing glimpses of the best parts but lacking the meat of the story.
To Black’s credit she fell in between the two for me. She had substance, but you don’t have to be a graphic novel or comic book enthusiast to appreciate it. Kudos to Ted Naifeh for some awesome art work in illustrating the story.