Graphic Novels 101


In the latest series of the Simpsons, there’s an episode where a new comic book store opens in Springfield and challenges Comic Book Guy’s hold on the people of Springfield. To celebrate the opening of “Coolsville Comics & Toys”, the store hosts a group of touring comic book authors. One thing leads to another and the authors morph into their alter egos and wreak havoc. After watching this episode I was reminded about the impact of graphic novels on our popular culture.


One of the authors featured in the episode is Art Spiegelman, the author of Maus. For those who don’t know, Maus is a powerful story of struggle and survival set during the Holocaust, where Jews were systematically executed by the Nazi regime, and is one of the few graphic novels to have won a major literary award. By using animals (mice represent Jewish people and cats the Germans) to tell the story, Maus is a great example of graphic novels at their best.


With their combination of words and striking images, graphic novels can sometimes convey a message that words alone can’t. Graphic novels can also be a great way to introduce yourself to subject matter that can be deep, and sometimes, difficult to get your head around. If you’re into graphic novels and feel like a challenge why not try Maus or one of these:

If you liked these or know of other graphic novels that have sparked your interest, let us know.


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2 Responses to “Graphic Novels 101”

  1. Craig Says:

    Maus is one of the best graphic novels I’ve ever read and further proof that comics can be a credible and intelligent medium.

  2. Amber Says:

    I absolutely love Persepolis. I went to see the film version at the Brisbane Film Festival a little while ago, and it was great. It just shows that graphic novels can be as interesting and enjoyable as any novel, and aren’t always just about superheroes.

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