Book BitesMy Recipe for: Gorgeously Grand Graphic NovelsRebecca Kuitems

The best part about graphic novels, for me anyway, is that they force you to take your time and enjoy what you’re given. You have to pace yourself because if you do the normal superfast-page-turning, you’ll miss the parts of the story created in images rather than words.

As someone that is not normally a graphic novel fan, these books are for those of us that can appreciate art and literature in a fantastic combination.

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Maus by Art Spiegelman

I’m always amazed by the people that have and have not had a chance to experience this Pulitzer Prize-winning piece. Maus is a non-fiction graphic novel (That’s right NON fiction) about a son who is coping with his father’s irritating habits—habits that his father happened to pick up during his experiences as a Holocaust victim in WWII. Art is writing and drawing this as a chronicle of not only his experience with his guilt over his irritation with his father, and to document his father’s retellings of what he went through. The portrayal of the characters’ nationalities according to like-minded animals gave me a giggle and a whole lot of “hmmm” moments.

Quote: … I’m not sure a quote would really do these visual pieces justice, so here’s a link to the Google Preview! Check out the first few pages for a sneak

Google Book Preview

You’ll like this if you: are a “Life is Beautiful” memoir-style book fan.

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The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds

I’m a giant fan of O Brother Where Art Thou, however if you’re looking for that much adaptation in this book, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Gareth’s work is visually stunning while bringing new life to an almost 3000 year old classic. My students really loved this version and fight over getting to read it. The images really bring the characters like Polyphemus, the cyclops, and Circe, the temptress/witch, to life. I really like this as a companion to the original epic poem, as it modernizes it without losing the story.

In case you never ever heard of this tale, The Odyssey is about a guy named Odysseus. He’s pretty cocky and in desperate need of a GPS. He’s on a journey home from war, and it’s gonna take him about… 20 years before he gets there. If anyone has ever accused you of having “wax in your ears” or called men a bunch of “pigs,” then they may or may not be quoting The Odyssey. 

You’ll like this if: you like classics with a twist (think more like the early 2000′s Pride and Prejudice  movie more than Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies)

Quote: Again the full image/word combo is way better for this work, so scroll down for on this page for a preview!

 

Images via Gareth Hinds and Random House

 

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  1. Art Spiegelman is an absolute visionary. Maus is so powerful, as is In the Shadow of No Towers, describing the emotional turmoil after the 9/11 attacks. Graphic novels are definitely under-appreciated.