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Graphic Novels

 
 
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2010 11:37 pm
I am totally ignorant about graphic novels. I've never seen any for sale, which seems strange to me.

I teach at a community college and some of my foreign students want to read books that would help them with their English. I immediately thought of graphic novels but I know nothing about them.

Can anyone recommend some favorites that I can recommend to my students?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,331 • Replies: 13
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Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 12:50 am
@plainoldme,
You might like this genre of video books. One of my transcription clients adds captioning to these types of videos for ESL students. This way they don't just hear the words and see the graphics, they also read the words that are synchronized with the audio so they can match the correct pronunciation of a word to what they read on screen.

There's quite a selection of these available on the internet.


Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 12:37 pm
@Butrflynet,
A publisher by the name of Weston Woods has produced several of these type of animated video novels. Weston was recently acquired by Scholastic who has the books available for order on their website:

http://westonwoods.scholastic.com/products/westonwoods/

Here are a few clips of them that are available on youtube:











Here's one that has been captioned (not a good quality though)

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Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 11:40 pm
@plainoldme,
This may be coming a bit late, but there a lot of graphic novels that might spark your students interest. Comic book stores will stock some, as do a lot of used bookstores (I have no idea where you are located, but Half Price Books in the Southwestern US usually has some sort of inventory onhand.) Of course, there are a lot available online, as well.

I grew up a comic book geek, and kept up with it longer than perhaps I should have. I only stopped collecting in the 90s when the paper shortage resulted in some dramatic price hikes. But a couple of years ago, when I quit smoking and suddenly had more cash than I was used to, I went on a little nostalgia trip and started visiting my local comic shop for a while. They still have a lot of "classic" graphic novels as well as collections of your standard superhero and fantasy fare. Here are a few suggestions, in no particular order:

Collections of Hepcats by Martin Wagner

Jar of Fools by Jason Lutes

Sandman by Neil Gaiman

Cerebus by Dave Sim (The "phonebook" collections of this 30-yr running series can be read as stand alone stories. Much of the series is amazing, although the last few years of its run were absolute crap. One section, Jaka's Story, is a fine representative of the graphic novel.)

Maus by Art Spiegelman (sometimes controversial)

Collections of Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore

A Contract With God and A Life Force both by Will Eisner (anything by Eisner will work though.)

Bone by Jeff Smith

Collections of the Bacchus series by Eddie Campbell

And I know this might sound silly, especially if you are looking for books with longer plots, but there are also plenty of collections of comic strips that remain pretty sophisticated. I still miss "Calvin and Hobbes" by Bill Watterson.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Jul, 2010 06:07 pm
@Razzleg,
Belated thank you for your list! I just received the update for it today! I will use some of these books.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Jul, 2010 06:08 pm
@Razzleg,
I know about Maus and my older son is a Neil Gaiman fan.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Jul, 2010 06:27 pm
There have been successful film adaptations of graphic novels. The one I think of offhand is Tom Hanks' Road to Perdition.
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tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Jul, 2010 06:41 pm
@plainoldme,
If you're looking for a great popcorn read for your students you could always get them into the legendary graphic novel of Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns first published in 1986.
https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/vbitters/www/001BatmanDarkKnightReturnsTPB_alt.jpg
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Razzleg
 
  2  
Reply Thu 29 Jul, 2010 11:32 pm
@plainoldme,
i hope the books are helpful. Strangely, Gaiman's work is the only one i was hesitant to include. While Sandman is of definite literary value, i wasn't sure if some of the graphic violence contained therein was classroom endorse-able.

And thanks for the thanks...honestly, your question lead me to reread some material that i hadn't revisited for awhile. i enjoyed reading those books after so long, and i hope that your students enjoy them as well.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jul, 2010 04:40 am
@Razzleg,
As for graphic violence, they are at the community college level. A wide selection of choices could cover and hopefully please the aesthetic and moral levels of the students.

One of my favorite graphic novel writers and artists is the French Canadian Guy Delisle, and let me recommend his travelogues where he accompanies his girlfriend/wife (?) who works for Doctors without Borders into third world countries. He documents his own experiences at working as an animation consultant in these countries and his exotic experiences while trying to cope with the alien cultures and often authoritarian governments.
http://www.guydelisle.com/english/images/shenzhen_en.jpg
http://www.guydelisle.com/english/images/py_en.gif
http://www.guydelisle.com/english/images/burma_en.jpg
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jul, 2010 08:07 am
@tsarstepan,
I like the idea of travelogues because I have more than a few foreign students. During the first semester, one of the African students wrote how war in her country confined her family to their home for 11 years and that in her late teens, she and her mother traveled to what she called, "the history countries."
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jul, 2010 08:15 am
@plainoldme,
Just read plot summaries of Shenzhen and Pyongyang. They sound a tad depressing!
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jul, 2010 11:53 pm
@plainoldme,
They are actually quite funny and touching.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2010 07:22 pm
@tsarstepan,
I plan to look them up. I haven't put together my ENG 101 class and it will be the first time that I will teach it.
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