Shelf Talker Tuesday

and a little teaser about this week’s indie feature…

Like many people, I’m sure, the book that convinced me of the merits of graphic novels was Maus by Art Spiegelman. In college I was fortunate to have a professor who preached the importance of studying non-canonical literature. Spiegelman shared space on our syllabi with essays by feminist and queer literary critics, Barthes, and Kate Chopin. If any of you have read Spiegelman’s Holocaust narrative, you will know without me having to tell you the power of these highly complex and thoughtful books in pictures.

Having said that, every since Maus, I’ve wanted to read more graphic novels. I confess, though, that the only ones I’ve actually managed have been Asterix et Obelix when I was living in France. Persepolis is still one that’s high up on my list.

Still, I’m always super excited when I walk into an indie bookstore and see a suitably large amount of shelf space dedicated to the genre. Such was the case when Luke and I walked into Malaprop’s Books in Asheville last week.

I fell in love with this re-telling of history and literature as soon as I saw it. The Staff Pick shelf talker reads:

Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton

“Hilarious, quirky and addictive! Who knew literature and History could be so good!”

So I’m curious: do any of you read graphic novels? If so, which are your favorites? I’d love to hear!

(More to come about Malaprop’s…. stay tuned!)

  1. Anne said:

    Oooh! I can’t wait to read this one (Hark! A Vagrant). Thanks, sweetie :)

  2. That’s funny, when I was there I had to limit myself to one book, so went for maximum size/impressiveness as object/amount of stories within and picked up this:

    There are always going to be some you don’t like in an anthology, but it made me want to buy at least 3 complete books I liked extracts of.

    I can recommend Jar of Fools by Jason Lutes (who coincidentally lives in Asheville) and the graphic novel adaptation of Paul Auster’s City of Glass (though I suppose that depends on whether you like Auster or not). I’m also looking forward to Hark! A Vagrant, hoping someone in my family gets the Christmas wishlist hints…

  3. Graphic novels, eh? They are good things.

    Speaking of Maus. Have you seen Meta Maus has been released? Its a break down of all the resources used in Maus. Its really interesting.

    As for me, the graphic novels I love are the Sandman series, I lend them to any and everyone. They are amazing, and are the catalyst for my love of Neil Gaiman (he wrote them). Each comic has a different artist interpreting the themes, so visually its really interesting above and beyond the brilliant story.

  4. Erin said:

    Not a bad haul, Simon. I’m going to have to check out Jar of Fools now. Sigh… Asheville.

    Maia-Jeanne – Yes, I did see that about Meta Maus. I’m anxious to check it out. Reading Maus really was such a huge milestone in my literary education in college. I’m about to start reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman right now. It’s my first Gaiman read so I’m pretty excited. Will definitely have to check out the Sandman series. Thanks for the recommendations!

  5. I’ve read some really great graphic novels in recent years – Maus is definitely up at the top, as is Persepolis! Additionally, I’d highly recommend: Skim by Mariko Tamaki, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, the Scott Pilgrim series by Bryan Lee O’Malley, the Y: The Last Man series by Brian K. Vaughan.

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