Graphic novels capture young readers

By Kim Butler/ Speaking Volumes
Friday, August 11, 2006

Robin Brenner, a librarian at the Carey Memorial Library in Lexington, has created a phenomenal Web site called "No Flying, No Tights" dedicated to the genre of graphic novels.
So what is a graphic novel In the simplest of terms it is a book length comic. Artists and authors create books from 50 to 300 pages long using panels, text bubbles, and classic comic book format. So what's the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel Comics usually refer to the short strips you see in the daily newspapers - three or four panels long usually telling a short story or conveying a joke (i.e. Calvin and Hobbes or Garfield). Comic books stretch out a story over 20 to 30 pages while a graphic novel can be as long as 500 to 600 pages.

The first comics written in the 1940s and 1950s were superhero comics intended for teens and young adults. One of the early pioneers in the graphic novel field was Will Eisner. His "A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories" was the first American graphic novel and in 1998 an award called the "Eisner" was created to honor achievements each year in comics. Another famous graphic novelist is Art Spiegelman whose book "Maus" about his father's Holocaust experience won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992...