I’m 28-years-old and am just now reading my first graphic novel, “The Watchmen.” It’s a good one to start with, since it’s one of the best selling novels of all time (graphic or otherwise).
I never understood graphic novels before. I thought they were like anime, which I also never really understood. I watched a couple episodes of Pokemon when I was babysitting in my teen years, and mostly just wondered why the storyline was so choppy and the lips and words weren’t better aligned.
The only time in my “adult” years I was introduced to what I thought were graphic novels was by a guy I went on a couple dates with in college. Before a movie once, we went to Barnes and Noble and browsed the anime section. He read his books left to right and thought it was awesome. I thought he was weird so I pretty much figured everything he liked was weird too. After I told him I didn’t want to go out with him anymore, he made me a “graphic novel” to try and “win” me back. It was pretty epic. And believe you me, if I could find that magical book, I would definitely share it with the world.
Wait- I forgot. I read Maus in seventh grade. It was pretty depressing. I didn’t like it.
So I didn’t really read comics. I figured it was a world I didn’t get filled with dudes who’ve never spoken to a chick before. And I figured the chicks that were into comic books were probably not loved as much as I was when I was a child.
Which seemed silly, because I love the stories that come from the comics. And as I’ve grown older, the people I tend to hang with, all seem to be the type that like comics, too. Not like that doofus dude I went out with a couple times. Creative, interesting people- many of whom are pursing the same dreams I am.
I just didn’t get it.
But that’s changed since I’ve started reading “The Watchmen.” I love that book. I love the format. I love the detail in the pictures. I love the world they create. I love the fact that there are so many story lines and timelines all intersecting. I love that there are other bits from the created world put together in the novel as part of the storyline. My creative self seems to vibrate on a higher energy while reading it. I call it “Right Brain Candy” because I love the connections it forces me to make and how much it exercises my imagination. I’m hooked.
When I finally finish “The Watchmen,” which should be any day now, I’m definitely going to add graphic novels to the list of books in my repertoire. I’m excited about it. Reading them revs me up. It gets the creativity flowing. It makes me want to create my own worlds and live and play in them.
And, I’ll be honest, it makes me feel pretty badass to pull out a graphic novel when I’m sitting next to someone reading a boring so-called-normal one.
And yeah- I said I feel badass for reading graphic novels. Not nerdy. I’m 28. The days where I’m worried about what people think of me have long since passed. I’m looking at pictures, bitches. Deal with it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have giant naked blue men to stare at.