Tag Archives: graphic novels

Day in the Life: Pleasure Reading

I must admit the beginning of my “Day in the Life” series isn’t the most accurate representation of my usual life. Today my husband, Michael, and I will spend half the day wrapping up a visit from two of our friends who came into town for Emerald City Comic Con. (Yes if you plan correctly you CAN have some semblance of a personal life in library school!) The weekend was full of geeking out while meeting some of our favorite artists, comic book writers, and actors (I met Sir Patrick Stewart!).

However, my day of getting very little done benefits you all! Let’s talk about pleasure reading. Since starting library school I, like many of you, have had little or no time to read for pleasure. Even when I do find that I have free time when I can pick up a novel I find my eyes swimming and my brain just shutting down. I can hear my inner voice yelling “NO MORE WORDS!” I started brain storming for some reading entertainment that I could indulge in that did not involve computers, blogs, or libraries. I found the answer this summer – comics. Now I know that word is a bit loaded. Even now that I’m a comic reader I still think of super heroes when I say the word, but there are as many genres of comics as there are fiction.

Personally I’d like to endorse my favorite genre of comics – the LAF Triumvirate (Literature-based, animal, and Fairy tale based fantasy) comics. This growing genre of comics will please any library student. Your favorite literary heroes step off the page of their novels and into comics usually leaving behind the restrictions their plots. This results is wonderful, fresh stories with the graphics that stimulates your word weary brain. Here are some of my favorites.

Fables – “When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the “mundys,” their name for normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters created their own secret society that they call Fabletown. From their exclusive luxury apartment buildings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, these creatures of legend must fight for their survival in the new world.” (From Amazon) This is a long series (over 130 comics so far), but with a great fleshed out universe. It also has several spin off series. It is worth while series and great for those of us with a weakness for long series.

Kill Shakespeare – “This dark take on the Bard pits his greatest heroes (Hamlet, Juliet, Othello, Falstaff) against his most menacing villains (Richard III, Lady Macbeth, Iago) in an epic adventure to find and kill a reclusive wizard named William Shakespeare” (From back of book) This a short two book adventure that is rumored to become a movie in the near-ish future (There is a screenplay ready)!

The Unwritten – This series follows Tom Taylor the son of a famous writer who based his main character the wizard Tommy Taylor on him (these books are a great echo of the Harry Potter series – however all the other literature mentioned in the series is real). Everything gets complicated when a woman accuses Tom Taylor of being the incarnation of Tommy during a Q & A session at a convention. Tom’s life only gets worse as he discovers what his father had created the Tommy Taylor books as a way to fight against a secret cabal that has been controlling the word through literature. Unwritten is a relatively new comic with under 50 issues out.

Sandman – Neil Gaiman’s wonderful comic series from the late 80s and early 90s. This series bridges the gap between superhero and literary-based comics. The series starts out in the world of DC comics with appearances by such notable characters as The Joker. Later in the series Gaiman’s characters inhabit their own universe full of wonderful characters including Dream, Death, Delirium, Destiny, Desire, Despair, and Destruction. If you enjoy Gaiman’s novels then you’ll enjoy his comics. However, if you are not versed in DC lore then you might want to check out the Annotated version from the library so you can get all the DC allusions. This might be a great series to start with since it has an ending.

Comics are wonderful pleasure reading during grad school. They stimulate other sections of your mind with the illustrations. They are short reads, and they scratch that fiction itch.


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