Graphic Novels; Good or Bad?


Nowadays, with books like 50 Shades of Grey, many readers ask “are books too graphic for some readers?” Some say yes and others simply say no. Many can argue that it is not good for a book to be that graphic, and how a teenager were to react if they pick it up and start reading. On the other hand, people say it’s what makes the book good, and a seller. Author Hillary Chute agrees to the fact that books aren’t books anymore and neither are comics with all the graphic writing there is in them. She talks about Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus and describes how that novel is graphic. Chute the describes what Maus is about. It is about the author’s father’s experience in Auschwitz as a Jew in the holocaust. We can see where the graphic scenes might lead too since it is taking place during the holocaust. She also talks about how graphic novels are now gaining acceptance in the academy and press, since book two of Maus was published and won a “special” Pulitzer Prize. She mentions about how popular the graphic novel is compared to others. The book was a bestseller and has been translated into many languages.


Chute suggested that comics nowadays may be ideal to portray traumatic events and extreme circumstances. Like Maus talks about the author’s father as a Jew in a concentration cap during WWII. Chute says that these comics like these helps the author, artists and narrators express their meanings in a way that cant be described in other forms. According to Chute, these narrative techniques contradicts. She thinks that visual literacy is replacing a verbal literacy. Meaning that pictures are replacing texts since she also thinks pictures show more feelings and emotions than texts themselves do. She quoted, from a times magazine story that these graphic narratives or graphic novels are a growing importance. She says “Comics may be what novels used to be, an accessible, vernacular form with mass appeal” Are these graphic novels really necessary? Should they be allowed to be sold in bookstores where anyone, including a young teenager, can go up to them and start reading? Is Chute right on her opinions about these graphic novels?