Right now, I’m in the process of reading Outlander. It’s already a terrific book; well written, great character development, intriguing plot. But it’s long, which isn’t a problem if you have a lot of time on your hands. Sadly/Happily, I am not one of those people. This summer has been jam-packed (hence, my three-week hiatus). As much as I want to dedicate an entire day to finishing Outlander, it’s almost impossible right now; I find myself reading it in little chunks whenever I get the chance.
So, what does this have to do with graphic novels? I just wanted to give them a quick pat on the back. Even though it’s been difficult for me to really dive into Outlander like I want to, I’ve been able to finish numerous graphic novels within the little time summer has allotted me. Graphic novel plots are quick yet complex. I love the art. I love being able to watch characters’ expressions. I love the fact that I can find a comfy seat at my local Barnes and Noble and finish a handful within the hour. Most importantly, I love that they remind me of my love for reading. Is that confusing? Probably. Let me explain:
Being an English major is terrific. I love what I do, what I study. My homework is literally reading. How great is that? But . . . then the reading assignments start to snowball: Read this entire book by Tuesday, this one Wednesday, these two by Friday . . . As much as I’d love to do just so, the reading workload is overwhelming, and I’m forced to pick and choose what I can attempt to finish it three days time (if even that). The other poor books I don’t get the chance to read become quick Sparknote glance-overs. (Note– this is a terrible habit to develop.) Toward the end of the semester, I’m worn out, and the majority of my assignments are thanks to Sparknotes’ aid.
Once again, what does this have to do with graphic novels?
When I finish out a semester, free to choose what I read, when I read it, with no deadlines breathing down my throat, I seem to always choose a graphic novel at first. That’s because I’ll finish it. For the longest time during the semester, I’ll have all these partially-read books lining my bookshelves. They make me doubt myself: Would I have read them completely if they hadn’t had been assigned to me? Have I burned myself out on reading? HECK NO, I remind myself. Graphic novels are that perfect reminder, that easy transition back into full-fledged novels that I intend on finishing on my own time. Because of the panels, readers quickly get a sense of the scene and a character’s appearance but, unlike a television show, you still get all the fun of reading. It’s fantastic.
You ready to crack into one now? Don’t know where to start? Here are my top five favorite graphic novel series. Pick one up, get sucked in, and enjoy your summer:
1. If you’re wanting a graphic novel based off a full-length novel:
2. If you’re looking for something dystopian:
(Warning– This is a manga story, meaning the story reads backwards.)
3. If you want a kick-butt tale about your Average Joe and his rock band:
4. If you want straight-up adventure and fantasy: