Graphic Novels: The Jump off the Deep End (and the start of an addiction)

A few months ago I had NEVER read a graphic novel or a comic. I had been curious for a while, wanted to try my hand at them, but was incredibly intimidated with the vast amount of titles out there. So I asked around in the blogging community for recommendations, googled things like ‘where to start if you want to read graphic novels’ and here we are, a few months later. I think I might’ve developed a slight addiction, because right now I’ve already gone through Saga volume 1 to 5, The Wicked + The Divine volume 1 and 2, Ms. Marvel volume 1, I’m halfway through Nimona and I have the first volume of Lumberjanes lined up for when I’ve finished that.

Graphic Novels

Whoever thought it was a good idea for me to start reading graphic novels and comics clearly wasn’t thinking about my poor wallet. Although I am pretty sure that person was me… Whoops. I did get a few for my birthday though! So I didn’t pay for them all by myself, haha.

Like I said, I started with Saga. And I’ll be honest with you, it took me a little while to get into. The problem wasn’t in the story though, no, it had more to do with the fact that I am used to books. Graphic novels are REALLY different from books. I mean, yes there’s a story going on, but instead of surroundings being described there’s an actual visual and there’s only a little dialogue to actually read. Now this might seem a bit silly and super obvious (and it is) but I didn’t fully realize that UNTIL I was actually reading it and I had a little trouble adapting to that. Something else that I didn’t really think about was the length of the story and the time it would take me to finish it. I mean, one book takes hours and I finished Saga volume 1 in under an hour! If you think about it, that really is no time at all…

So what made me push through? First of all, ALL the people that recommended Saga to me. I mean there were just so many people that told me I should start with Saga, and I figured that they must’ve recommend it for a reason.Second of all, the story was interesting. When I realized I was having a bit of trouble and started to think what the cause of that could be, I almost immediately realized that the story-line wasn’t the problem at all. It really was the form in which the story was told. Once I got to that point it was really easy to just keep going. After I had finished the first volume I was intrigued enough to try the second volume as well, and well, the rest is history. Before I knew it I am where I am at now: an ever growing collection of graphic novels on my shelves.

Now, what is that made me fall in love (read: addiction) so fast? Well, in a way, graphic novels really are like books. Both tell a story, just in a different form, and once I got used to that I was a goner. Because let’s be honest: the stories are EPIC. Also, the amount of time it takes me to finish one volume (another thing that I really had to get used to) is actually quite ideal. I am in my second year of university and I am quite busy with all that comes with it. I don’t always have the time to read for long periods of time. I love binge-reading, but with how busy I am that just isn’t always realistic. I can binge-read one volume though! Because it takes me less time to finish I can just read the whole thing in one sitting. I don’t have to stop reading when I’m halfway in and completely emerged into the story to study or do my homework because most just don’t take that long to finish. It’s perfect! Another HUGE perk is the illustrations: they are just beautiful works of art. I enjoy the illustrations so much, it’s so damn pretty to look at. My absolute favourite at the moment is The Wicked + The Divine, those illustrations are TO DIE FOR.

I really developed an addiction in no time and I have only my damn curiosity to blame! (not that I would have it any other way). I dived straight in, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be coming up for air anytime soon.

Tell me, do you read Graphic Novels? What was your experience?

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  1. 21/10/2015 / 15:20

    I started reading graphic novels not too long ago and love to look at the art. I can’t always get into the stories but maybe that’s just the one’s that I have read. The Wicked and the Divine is one of my favourites and a big part of that was the art – it is amazing!

    Have you read any manga? I’ve only managed to read one so far that Laini Taylor recommended online and it was really cute and funny: Yotsuba.

    • Iris
      21/10/2015 / 15:42

      The art is amazing, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed that as well. I’ve always elaborate story telling, and I was so pleased to find out that graphic novels have the same, but just in a different way. I had some trouble getting into the stories at first as well, but when I pushed on I found that it became easier. Although I think one story is just better than the other (it’s the same way with books, right?).

      I haven’t read any manga, yet. Don’t really know if it’ll be something for me, but I’m willing to give it a try. Thanks for the recomendation, I’ll probably look into that one!

  2. 22/10/2015 / 00:19

    I love comic books. I actually starting reading them when I was a kid because my dad has a huge collection. When I became an adult and had my own money to spend on things, one of the first things I bought was a comic book subscription! I am an avid fan of comic books, especially lesser known ones or ones that aren’t necessarily “superheroes” (although I love me some superheroes).

    I agree with Chantelle, you should try manga. I know that Elise, Dani, and I could all probably give you some recommendations if you wanted to try something in that stream! I love anything that has art included in it, it just gives it that much more to the story, imo.

    I’m glad you started reading graphic novels!! Now I feel like I have someone to talk to about them!

    • Iris
      22/10/2015 / 11:36

      My mom just pointed out to me that I used to read Donald Duck as a kid, haha. I loved that, but stopped reading those as I got older. I don’t have a comic book subscription, but maybe somewhere in the future (any recommendations are welcome haha). I guess I mostly go for the well-known ones. It became somewhat easier to pick out a new graphic novel to read, but I guess the vast amount of titles out there still remains a bit intimidating. But then again, the next ones I’ll go for are probably the Marvel ones (superheroes, yay!).

      I’d love to try manga. Really don’t know if it’ll be fo me, but I’ll definitely give it a shot! And I know Elise, Dani, and you can give recommendations (I’m the newbie to manga’s, booo, haha). And I do agree, the illustrations really give much more to the story! I love it.

      Also, I’m ALWAYS up for a good conversation about graphic novels, books, or whatever (as you know, since we talk all the time haha)!

  3. 22/10/2015 / 10:31

    Question: Is Donald Duck also a kind of reading graphic novels?
    If it is so, you already were addicted a long time ago!

    • Iris
      22/10/2015 / 11:24

      Donald Duck is a comic (I think), it is shorter than a Graphic Novel. Which means you basically set the foundation for my addiction, haha.

  4. 22/10/2015 / 17:09

    I’ve *just* started reading graphic novels and testing out the waters of graphic novel-land! It’s funny, because I took pretty much the same steps you did. Asked for recs on twitter+google, & looked at the Goodreads list of the “best graphic novels”. I’ve only read a few so far(3, I think?), but I really want to read more. So far my favorite that I’ve read is Through the Woods, which is actually a graphic horror short story collection that was PERFECT for October/Halloween. I really loved the stories & the art work in that one. I haven’t gotten the chance to read Saga yet, but that’s probably the one I’ve had recommended to me the most.

    • Iris
      22/10/2015 / 17:57

      Yay! A fellow newbie, haha. I felt so stupid googling it at first, and then I just got over myself, I mean there’s SO MANY titles, and I was pretty lost trying to pick one on my own. Recommendations and a little research worked like a charm for me! I haven’t heard of Through the Woods before, I’ll probably check that out now (when my midterm exams are over of course).

      Saga is great! It took me a bit to get into it, but the story just gets better and better with ever volume! I’d really recommend The Wicked + The Divine if you love good artwork. From all the graphic novels I’ve read so far I love the artwork in that one most!

  5. 26/10/2015 / 22:16

    Judging by this post & these comments, I’m certainly not the only one who has recently discovered comic books! Before, when I thought “comic book”, I thought Batman & Superman, noises like KABLAM! and POW! – none of which is really my style when I want to read a book. I’m glad we’ve all broadened our horizons. :)

    “Saga” and “The Wicked + The Divine” are also the ones that got me started. Beautiful art, those two. (The latest issue of “Saga” is apparently intended to stomp on my heart as much as possible…)

    • Iris
      27/10/2015 / 00:34

      Haha, I can so relate to that sentiment. Especially the KABLAM! and POW! noises. I’m very very glad I decided to broaden my horizons, because they’re SO GOOD!

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