You can do that with comics, create that immersion and empathy. That gutter I mentioned [the space between the panels where the reader's imagination completes the story] is part of why. Your brain is being stimulated, through language and image, to experience with all your senses, as well as emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, whatever-allys the comic's creators are adept enough to reach. The reader in the gutter is the one actually pulling it all together, fitting the pieces of the puzzle, participating in its creation. The comic itself is just a series of guideposts, instructions for a scavenger hunt - turn the corner here, shuffle that cobblestone, watch for the rusty nail - too late!, and then what's next?
A graphic novel is a book made up of comics content. Although the word "novel" normally refers to long fictional works, the term "graphic novel" is applied broadly, and includes fiction, non-fiction, and anthologized work. It is distinguished from the term "comic book", which is used for comics periodicals.
That definition can be a point of contention. Writers such as Alan Moore (Watchmen), Jeff Smith (Bone), and Neil Gaiman (Sandman) have objected to the term "graphic novel" as unnecessary and/or pretentious. The author Douglas Wolk said:
Comics are not prose. Comics are not movies. They are not a text-driven medium with added pictures; they're not the visual equivalent of prose narrative or a static version of a film. They are their own thing: a medium with its own devices, its own innovators, its own clichés, its own genres and traps and liberties. The first step toward attentively reading and fully appreciating comics is acknowledging that.
Whether you want to call them graphic novels or comics, there are a lot of good ones out there on a lot of different topics. There are graphic (or "visual") memoirs and biographies, graphic short story collections, classics of the canon adapted to a graphic format. There is a graphic version of the U.S. Constitution. There are graphic versions of Game of Thrones, the Millennium Trilogy, and Laurell Hamilton's Anita Blake series for adults, and graphic versions of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Blue Bloods for teens. Don't hesitate to check the graphic novel bounty available in the library catalog - a search of "graphic novels" is easy-peasy in Encore, and using the categories in the left sidebar (format, collection, tag) will help you to limit your search!
Climate Changed: A Personal Journey Through the Science by Philippe Squarzoni
The Red Ruby by Lars Jakobsen [YA]
On the Ropes by James Vance and Dan E. Burr
Persia Blues: Volume 1 by Dara Naraghi & Brent Bowman
Rage of Poseidon by Anders Nilsen
The Property by Rutu Modan
The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg
Bad Houses by Sara Ryan
World Map Room by Yuichi Yokoyama
Incidents in the Night: Bk 1 by David B.
Fanny & Romeo by Yves Pelletier, Pascal Girard
Mind the Gap - Vol. 1 : Intimate Strangers by Jim McCann
The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire
A Game for Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return by Zeina Abirached [YA]
Little White Duck: A Childhood in China by Na Liu and Andrés Vera Martínez (J)
Steve Jobs: Genius By Design by Jason Quinn
Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea by Hugo Pratt
Dominique Laveau, Voodoo Child - Volume 1: Requiem by Selwyn Seyfu Hinds
Lily Renée, Escape Artist: From Holocaust Survivor to Comic Book Pioneer by Trina Robbins (J)
Vietnamerica: A Family's Journey by GB Tran
Bad Habits: A Love Story by Cristy C. Road [eBook]
The Rime of the Modern Mariner by Nick Hayes
Miss Don't Touch Me by Hubert
Berlin: City of Stones by Jason Lutes
Howl: A Graphic Novel by Allen Ginsberg
Bandette: In Presto! by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (J)
The Comic Book History of Comics by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey
If you are a fan of this genre, the Lomas Tramway Library has a Graphic Novel Club for Adults!
2014 Eisner Award Nominees
The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards are considered the “Oscars” of the comics world. Named for the pioneering comics creator and graphic novelist Will Eisner, the awards are given out in more than two dozen categories during a ceremony each year at Comic-Con International: San Diego.
Comic Books vs. Graphic Novels: Let's Find a Good Fit For You!
Talking Comics with Scott McCloud
Understanding comics: Scott McCloud on TED.com
Excerpt: 'Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean'
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Top 10 Graphic Novels 2014