Morning all! Today’s topic came up in last nights chat ( Yep, I stayed up late and chatted! And won a prize! ). I’m a huge fan of Comic Books , Manga and Graphic Novels. One of the things I’ve noticed over the past year is that a lot of Bloggers have been reading and reviewing these same genre’s on their blogs. It really makes me happy to see this and of course to have more people to geek out with over my favorites. I think Digital apps have also helped. It’s a lot easier to download these types of books and they are cheaper. This post will have three parts:
I will explain the difference between the different genres
Suggestions on where/ how to access the books
My favorites in the Genre
Comic Books or Comics as I will refer them to in this post, are individual issues of a title that can be purchased at bookstores, newsstands, comic book retail stores and digitally. There are a variety of titles that cover a wide range of topics but Superheroes dominate the genre and the main companies are Marvel, DC Comics, and Image Comics . It can be very daunting for first time comic readers to walk into a shop. If you choose to do this I suggest looking for reviews online of stores before you visit. For females especially a first time visit to a store can be a negative experience. I have an amazing shop (Earth 2) and I visit them because of their awesome staff. If you want to try single comics issues digitally I will have suggestions later in this post.
Manga: Manga like comics have really grown in popularity over the past few year. Manga in America comes in two forms: Manga that reads in the traditional format which is Left to Right, or in the Western format of Right to Left. Like Comics Manga has a tremendous amount of genres that will appeal to all ages. In fact Manga is read by a variety of age ranges in Asian cultures from children to grandmothers! Manga also has a larger group of female creators (writers and artists) than the comic industry in the United States.
BE WARNED!!!: Manga is addictive. A mad passionate and expensive pursuit ! Many series can go on for years! One of my favorite manga Naruto is up to 50+ volumes! the manga I’m showcasing today have a set number of volumes so they should be easier to acquire.
Graphic Novels : Graphic Novels are also generally called Reprint Books. A lot of them reprint 6-7 issues of an individual comic but a lot of them are new stories packed in the GN format. This is a great way to get several issues of a book at once to see if you like it.
The Library: This is the best place to try Graphic Novels and Manga. I recently started using my local library again and its been a tremendous, budget saving way to read some of the books I don’t usually collect and to stay within my budget!
Manga selections at libraries are extremely tricky! unfortunately a lot of them get stolen, pages torn out and defaced. There is also a problem with getting the volumes sequentially. Its not uncommon to find volumes 1, 2, and 3, of a manga and be unable to find volume 4 in the system but find volumes 7-10 ! Some libraries have better selections but overall I’ve been disappointed with the selection and availability.
Comixology: I loooove this app! Though a part of me will always buy physical comics ( just like with books) , Comics take up a lot of space! So digital comics are really great. You can download this app on I phones, I pads, Kindle Fire’s and now thanks to Google play the NOOK!!!! Can you tell I’m excited?? The great thing about comixology is they have a lot of free comics. They also have a great feature called New To Comics? This will guide you on the path to finding a series you will enjoy.
Comic Shop’s: If you read my blog regularly you will find that I promote the event Free Comic Book Day every year. The event has passed but if you click the link above it will take you to the FCBD page. On this page you will see a box marked : Find a Shop Near You. Click that and plan a visit to your local store.
Also the regular shop feature on your e-reader will pull up individual issues and graphic novels for sale as well.
Now the Fun Part!!!
These series are the ones I suggest to people who want to know more about the genre. I cant remember if any of them read in the traditional format but the book will let you know before you start. Also these are series that have a definite beginning, middle and end. They also range from 3- 13 volumes for the entire series :
A blend of Horror & Suspense with a touch of Catch me If You Can Cat & Mouse Games. This story is also an amazing Anime series on Netflix. If you have access to Google Play you can get volume one for free.
You may have seen the film but this series is definitely the best way to experience Scott’s world. Lots of fun and full of sweet, relatable humor and kickass action!
Pick any Genre of Fiction and think of a Master of that Genre. That is who Urasawa Tezuka is to Manga. He is considered a “National Treasure” in his country. This story centers around the seven great Robots of the World and someone who is working to kill them all. Based on an Anime episode of the Astro Boy series (Atom in Japan), this is the book I will suggest to anyone who doesn't “get” manga. If I could I would give everyone a copy of this 8 volume series by Viz. You will never look at Fiction (or stuffed bears) the same way again!
These books are every thing I love about comics: Nuff Said, as Stan Lee would put it!
Graphic Novels that show the Literacy Aspect of the Genre
I hope I’ve encouraged you to try some of these books! A great many of them are at your Library now!