A lot of people call me a geek.
And, you know what, I am. Sci-fi movies and series? Sure. Fantasy stories? Absolutely, sign me up. But for some reason I never really got into the whole graphic novel scene - I'm going out on a limb to say that it's probably because my parents always told me that "reading comics isn't reading" and graphic novels are similar enough to fall in that non-reading category. Also, I thought it was for nerds and I thought I was OBVIOSULY WAY TOO COOL for that.
Now that I'm older and (not too much) wiser, I am learning to embrace my nerdy/geeky tendencies for what they are, and I'm exploring the possibilities.
This summer, I read my first graphic novel, and to tell you the truth, it was kind of fun. I'd forgotten how much pictures add to a story - it's another layer of depth so I'm still getting something meaningful out of it...but it also makes me feel like an adorable little KID!
American Born Chinese.
Three individual stories: 1) Jin Wang, Asian American kid who just wants to fit in, 2) Danny, the white guy, always shamed by his caricature Chinese cousin, Chin-kee, and 3) the fabled Chinese monkey king and his determination to become revered as a god.
Separate stories, but with commentary on finding yourself and accepting and loving your roots - and amazingly, author Gene Yang is able to tie it all together in the end.
Buy American Born Chinese. $12.21, guys! That's chump change!
The next graphic movel on my radar is "The Arrival" by Shaun Tan. Wordless, but astoundingly beautiful piece about a man's journey and experience of traveling to a new country. Look at the pictures below and honestly tell me that it doesn't move you in some way.
For an exclusive excerpt, go here.
More information on Shaun Tan: his website, and
Buy The Arrival. $13.59! Also cheap!
In case you couldn't tell, if I'm going to read a graphic novel, I want it to be a little strange, a little relevant, a little cheeky, and a little haunting. Hopefully you will take my advice and check these out, because I'm here to broaden your horizons, people.
That and provide things that might waste a lot of your time and/or money. Not this, though; this is not a waste of anything - except some valuable cultural perspectives if you choose to ignore me. And why would you do that? I'm so entertaining!