Tuesday, October 23, 2007

graphic novels and comics for adults

Sounds racy, doesn't it? But, really, even though there are plenty of irreverent and smutty versions of the comic form, there are also many notable illustrators who have pushed the medium into some sophisticated corners. Take Palestine, by Joe Sacco, who wrote and drew about his first-person experiences in a war-weary land. Or Maus, by Art Spiegelman, which tells the story of the holocaust from the decidedly un-cute perspective of mice, cats and other animal contingents. Then there is the understated, subtle storytelling of artists like Adrian Tomine or Daniel Clowes. The combination of word and image, as intimately connected in the telling of a good story, has often been relegated to the children's book or juvenile comic books. Moving on to "chapter books" is applauded, as if children have grown out of the need to be informed by image as well as word (film and television notwithstanding). So the advent of "adult" comics that aren't necessarily filled with back-room content is one to be celebrated.

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