Did you know today is Free Comic Book Day? I had no idea until a coworker was telling me about it. There are actually several comic book stores locally, but I am not sure I will get to partake of the excitement as my family is celebrating Mother's Day a little early. If I can squeeze it in, I might just go to a store close to my work. It has only been fairly recently that I have started to read graphic novels, my favorite comic book artist/graphic novelist is Rutu Modan and I wish she would write more as I have read all her works available here in the US.
I've brought home a book to celebrate in any case. One of our English faculty teaches the graphic novel and has a variety of classes and has requested that the library fill out our collection of the Best American Comics series. I had a stack of them on my book cart yesterday and decided to choose one to read--must get into the spirit of the day, right? So I opted for the 2012 edition as it has an excerpt from Sarah Glidden's How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, which piqued my curiosity. Ever since I took an Israeli Literature class I have been on the look out for books by Israeli authors or set in Israel. And I am sure there will be plenty of other comics of interest there as well.
I have very few graphic novels on my TBR pile, so reading through those 'Best of' annuals might be a place to try out an author and see what I like and which books I might want to borrow or buy. One graphic novel I do have on hand is Berlin: City of Stones, Book One, Jason Lutes. It is the first of a trilogy of stories set in Weimar Germany about a journalist and an art student. I have been meaning to read it, so perhaps now is the moment!
To be honest I am not entirely sure of the distinction (or if there even is one?) between a graphic novel and a comic book. Maybe the terms are interchangeable? I have been thinking that a comic is a series of shorter magazines telling a story (in the way that Dickens serialized his novels?). Eventually they will get collected into a larger bound book like my copy of Berlin. Though a graphic novel is likely more of a standalone story?
The idea of a serial comic book story appeals to my bookish sensibilities and I fear I see a whole new reading path rising ahead of me. It could be dangerous, but I am going to try and sample books from the library. I know I am wary of vampire or zombie stories or end of the world/apocalyptic stories. I am probably not much of a superhero reader either, but I haven't actually tried any so I am willing to give the right story a go. My library will be getting the first few issues of a story called Saga as well as The Wicked + the Divine, which I have heard are both fairly addictive, so I can't wait to check them out (figuratively but maybe literally, too). And I have requested from the public library the first of a series called The Fade Out, which is a noir story set in the Golden Age of Hollywood. So, some interesting books/stories to look forward to.
Do you read comics? If so, do you have any favorites you would recommend to someone who has very little experience reading and choosing them? I only fear that if I do step foot in a comic book (stress on book) store I will come away with more than I should.