Does anyone else get lost in graphic novels?
Seriously—I get lost, and not in the “Wow, this is so good, it swept me off my feet!” kind of way. I actually lose my way. Do I look at the pictures first, or the dialog? When there’s a big box that spreads over two pages, where does that fit into the sequence? Are these people talking or fighting, or both? Do I read right to left or up and down? Do I read them or look at — ooh, that picture is pretty!
You get the idea.
When I was about ten, I fell in love with an Elfquest novel so obscure I almost couldn’t find it on Amazon at the moment—a novel, not a graphic novel, one with no (or at least very few) pictures. I loved it so much, I requested another Elfquest book from another library. When it arrived, it was—
I was flummoxed. I tried to read it, but it outdid me. It was beyond my ten-year-old powers of comprehension.
That’s weird, right? Kids are supposed to like comic books. Lots of action, pictures, not a lot of reading. But even as a kid, I thought, “There aren’t enough words in this book!”
Now, as a “grown up,” I’m trying to read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, but The Dream Hunters, the only one I’ve successfully made it through, was more like a picture-book than a graphic novel. I’ve also ordered The Long Way Home (Buffy the Vampire, Season 8, Volume 1), because I need (that’s an imperative) more Buffy… but what if I get lost again?
Do I need a graphic novel primer? Does such a thing exist? Can you help me? I feel as though my nerd-credibility is slipping.