Graphic novels: more than just your average superheroes

By Lisa Dalrymple

Exhausted from reading 20 pages worth of assigned textbook reading every night? Wishing you could read something lighter and more entertaining? Graphic novels, that is, novels comprised of comics, can offer students a light read when class reading gets too overwhelming.

“Graphic novels are perfect for college students because they’re a quick and easy read for when you want to read something fun between reading for class,” junior Dereck Rinker said.

Graphic novels are often stereotyped as simply being about classic superheroes fighting villains. However, there are a number of novels that bring interesting real-life situations to light. For example, Uncle Sam, authored by Steve Darnall and illustrated by Alex Ross, brings the American symbol of Uncle Sam to life and sends him on a journey to find the true spirit of the American people. Sam, first introduced to the reader as a homeless man, has visions of historical events and seeks to understand his role in American life.

Several critically acclaimed films started out as graphic novels. For instance, Ghost World by Daniel Clowes tells the story of two girls post high school graduation, their turbulent friendship, and their crazy and often humorous antics, while trying desperately to find themselves.

V, a futuristic parallel to Guy Fawkes, leads a rebellion against a totalitarian Britain in V for Vendetta, authored by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd. The film version differs considerably from the novel. The script in the film version was adapted for American audiences.

“Graphic novels tend to be more detailed than the film version,” sophomore Melissa Eisenhauer said.

Mark Waid and Alex Ross’s Kingdom Come shows an apocalyptic future for the superheroes. Traditional heroes, such as Superman, reemerge with newfangled lessons to teach about perseverance and bravery.

As the semester is more than half-way complete, students can find comic relief from the stresses of school by picking up a graphic novel at the local library or bookstore.

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