The importance of graphic novels

We round up four newly released graphic novels and talks about why the genre is important.

Last month, the Statistic Brainpublished an extensive study reporting just how much Americans are reading. It turns out not a lot.Eighty percent of people in the U.S. have not bought a book in the past 12 months, and 42 percent of high school graduates will never read another book after they graduate.

 

But with the popularity of graphic novels soaring, it's perhaps the only genre that both intellectuals and those who don't "like reading" are drawn to.We round up some of the best new releases.

 

"Satan's Prep" by Gabe Guarente and illustrated by Dave Fox


High school is literally hell in "Satan's Prep." Credit: Provided High school is literally hell in "Satan's Prep."
Credit: Provided

High school is hell for a lot of people, but for 17-year-old Trevor it is literally hell. He has to get at least a D to be transferred from this holding for lost souls to Purgatory. Any teen who finds school less than desirable (so...most?) will enjoy the cast of characters, gallows humor and carefully crafted illustrations in this newly released book.

 

Meet the author:Book launch event with Gabe Guarente
August 6, 6 p.m.
Forbidden Planet
832 Broadway, 212-473-1576
www.fpnyc.com

 

"El Deafo" by Cece Bell


"El Deafo" tells the story of a girl with a hearing impairment who is also the new kid at school. Credit: Provided "El Deafo" tells the story of a girl with a hearing impairment who is also the new kid at school.
Credit: Provided

Out next month (Sept. 2), "El Deafo" is the author and illustrator's true story of her experience of having a hearing impairment while also dealing with being the new kid at school. Even when going through the ups and downs of getting a new hearing aid, Cece is more focused on what any kid at that age wants: finding friends and being accepted. This book is aimed at middle schoolers but its poignant story is one people of all ages will enjoy and can learn from.

"The Graveyard Book: Volume 1" by P. Craig Russell


P. Craig Russell took a #1 New York Times best seller and have it the graphic novel treatment. Credit: Provided P. Craig Russell took a #1 New York Times best seller and have it the graphic novel treatment.
Credit: Provided

"The Graveyard Book" is already an award-winning No. 1 New York Times best seller, but this graphic novel adaptation introduces the story to teens who might not normally have picked up the original. Through witty language and skillful, colorful art, the book tells the story of a boy living in a graveyard and being raised by beings who are neither living nor dead.

"Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?" by Roz Chast

Roz Chast has been creating cartoons for the New Yorker since 1978. Credit: Provided Roz Chast has been creating cartoons for the New Yorker since 1978.
Credit: Provided

The New Yorker cartoonist released this book, her memoir, in graphic novel form, largely focusing on her aging parents' last days. Like the cartoons she is famous for, it's both humorous and quite sad. Chast succeeds in taking a complicated issue almost everyone will go through and making it deeply personal and relatable.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence

 
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