Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Graphic Novel Book Club

This is a random post for my regular readers (all three of you), but I'm in charge of planning my book club's meeting for September, and we're reading graphic novels. As someone who's never actually read an entire comic book (no one tell Grandpa Rob), I'm actually a little intimidated by choosing a book (and leading the meeting on the topic I suggested!). Anyway, here's the list we can choose from (compiled by fellow book club members who know more about graphic novels!). And for those of you who check this blog only for the cute pictures of Maddie, scroll to the bottom.

American Born Chinese - YA immigrant experience
Smile - YA hilarious story about braces
French Milk - story of a mother/daughter trip to Paris
La Perdida - one woman's adventure through Mexico City
Maus – story of a Jewish family during World War II
We Are On Our Own – family escaping the Nazi’s during World War II
Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea – a American cartoonist’s work trip to North Korea
Shenzen – an American’s travels through Communist China
Persepolis – growing up in Revolutionary-era Iran
Fair Weather – life as a boy in the 1970s
Epileptic – growing up in the 1970s with an epileptic brother
I Never Liked You – the difficult life of a teenager trying to fit in
American Splendor – everyday life as a comic strip creator
American Widow – a 9/11 widow’s story
Stitches – parents deliberately give their child cancer so they can study it
Blankets – struggles with a “rigidly fundamentalist Christian upbringing”
Clumsy – chronicle of a year-long long-distance relationship (note: I’ve heard there’s lots of sex in this one.)
Fun Home – life with a closeted gay father who runs a funeral home
Pedro & Me – life and death of a gay man with AIDS



  1. I would go with Maus. It's actually the only one I've read and is pretty iconic even for people who don't normally read graphic novels. I've also heard really great things about Fun Home though.

  2. In terms of picking one, I'd just pick whatever attracts you based on reviews, etc.

    As for the discussion, I'm not sure how much it would differ from discussing a regular book, with the obvious addition of talking about the how the art enhances the story. Once you've chosen one and read it, you might try googling the title to see if you can find reader's guides, etc. I think Pratt has a decent graphic novel collection, and so they might have some books of criticism if you're feeling especially dedicated to figuring this out. :)

    And you should probably hit up Bryan if you haven't already :)

  3. The only one I've read is Maus. You have to read it.

  4. The only one I have read is Persepolis. It was good. I had always meant to read Maus and have heard good things about it. I saw the movie, American Splendor, but never read any of it. I won't tell "anyone" that you haven't read a comic book. You'd probably end up with Wonder Woman for Christmas or something!
    Thanks for including the cute picture of Maddie.

  5. I'd also add to the list Fallout:


  6. I'm really looking forward to this meeting. Now I just have to try to get my mom and sister to read one of these ...