Comics and Graphic Novels? What The Deal All About
If that’s a question you have in your mind right now, an introduction is necessary. And perhaps you come from a generation which didn’t grow up with comics. Well, comics are illustrated storybooks which usually have extraordinary plotlines and go to bend the reality in their making. Most of the comics come from the genre of Superheroes, Adventures, and Galactic expeditions. Comics became a huge part of the pop culture within the early 70’s and went on to define entertainment for the pre-millennials. Comics also went on to establish few of the biggest media companies in the world. Warner Brothers, DC Comics, Marvel Entertainment, all have their base in bestselling comic franchises. However, over time comics became a hobby than a routine. Until eBooks came along the way.
As for the Graphic novels, these are a step ahead of Comics. Although, many would say that Graphic novels are a more complex offshoot of Comic books, bringing a new culture with them. Although Graphic novels usually maintain the same elements which go into the making of a Comic, there are some differences. The difference is subtle and small, but they do count. Most readers part them because of print binding. Comics usually came out with Saddle stitching, whereas Graphic novels are usually brought out in hardback or paperback.
However, this might not be applicable when we look at the digital versions, which offer the same output for both. Hence, one more difference that we can point at is the way these come out. Graphic Novels usually have more character development, in-depth story and focus on characters. Comics, on the other hand, are more situational based and move all around with plotlines.
Evolution of Comic Books and Graphic Novels Over The Ages
Since there is only a subtle difference in Comic books and Graphic novels, the evolution is wonderful. Now, as soon as we look at the origin of Comic Books, we come across the initial works in the early 1950’s. In this era, most of the comic book culture reflected the society we lived in. American uprising, society chaos, presidential elections, youth disturbance, all came to factor into Comics. Comics came to bring the changes and commentaries about the world we live in.
Storytellers came to realise that the works they brought out should bring in more fiction and drift away from reality. That was the birth of a concept of Graphic Novels. As we saw earlier, Graphic Novels, involve more on character development, and storylines which are superlative on current trends. They tend to bring the narratives in a more radical form and make them come across as more novels than anything else.
A major step came in Graphic novels revolution in the year, 1986, when three of the most iconic graphic novels came out to the market. Watchmen, by Alan Moore; Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, by Frank Miller; and Maus, by Art Spiegelman. These were literary works, in which the story was more important than the artwork. Watchmen and The Dark Knight, drawing on the introverted superheroes of the decade before, questioned the very idea of what it means to be a superhero. Maus, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2002, tells the story of the author’s father and his survival through the Holocaust. Since the mid-80s, graphic novels have become increasingly popular. They now cover every genre, from non-fiction to classical literature to stories about robots; they can appeal to every demographic, and they are wonderful tools for any classroom.
Graphic Novel Vs Manga Books
Graphic novels are sequential storytelling at its best. That point we’ve already established. And that makes it different from what Comics stand for. Now, somewhere between Graphic novels and Comics, came along another wonderful genre, Manga. Mange came about changing the way we read, write, and imagine our stories. Technically, Japanese Comics come with a name of Manga. The term itself stands for ‘Whimsical Images”. The major difference that we can see when we are looking manga is the way they are written. Creators of Manga usually, make the images (much like Comics) from Top to Bottom and is right to left. For the most part, Manga usually does not change, except when they are importing the work into American or European cultures. Traditionally, Manga comes out in Black and White format and portray specific cultural aspects.
Usually, Manga differs from Graphic Novels in the way the expressions are made out. The Manga makers go for symbols to express the feeling rather than words. The classic example is using Sweat drops to express the tired nature or anxiety. Graphic novels over the years have borrowed heavily from Manga to create a combination of direct storytelling and expressive images. Thus, making Graphic novels became more of an artform than a storytelling procedure. Graphic novels are often called a “bridge” between television or video games and books because they have the same visual impact of the former with the literacy skills required by the latter. I think it’s also important to note that graphic novels are a destination.
The Best Of Comics, Graphic Novels and Manga You Can Get Reading Right Now
Attack on Titan, Volume 1 (Manga/Graphic Novel)
In this post-apocalyptic sci-fi story, humanity has been devastated by the bizarre, giant humanoids known as the Titans. Little is known about where they came from or why they are bent on consuming mankind. Seemingly unintelligent, they have roamed the world for years, killing everyone they see. For the past century, what’s left of man has hidden in a giant, three-walled city. People believe their 100-meter-high walls will protect them from the Titans, but the sudden appearance of an immense Titan is about to change everything.
One of the best selling franchises of Japan literature, Attack on Titans, from Hajime Isyama, came out as culture defining work at best. The mythological and supernatural story talks of three survivors of a demonic attack aftermath. Eren Yeager, Mikasa and Armin Arlert, who join the military to fight gigantic demons. The story thus moves from the initial protection of villages to more complicated places. The franchise has been a great hit with young readers, especially in the Graphic novels department. The comics talk more about the development of these leading characters, revealing secrets and intents about the demon Humanoids.
The Ultimate Minecraft Comic for Serious Minecraft Fans! If you love Minecraft then you will love this first-ever, one-of-a-kind Minecraft comic book, drawn in true graphic novel/comic book style. It tells the story of young Steve, who finds himself in an epic battle to save the lives of hundreds of villagers including his father. Battling zombies, skeletons, creepers, and the invincible Herobrine – will he be able to save his father and the hundreds of villagers from the curse Herobrine has placed on the land?
This unofficial Minecraft book, of epic adventures, brings much more to the tale than the game itself. With a protagonist to root for and a storyline which pits him against all odds, the Curse comics are super impressive. The comics and sometimes Graphic Novels are a rage with young readers, who are trying to explore the reading habits and trends. Also, as per a recent study, the amount of vocabulary that the readers pick up with Graphic novels are at a higher level than normal comics. And other factors which really work for this series is that the novel comes as a tie-in for the popular Minecraft game. This makes the young readers go forward to pick comics easily.
Hellboy: Seed of Destruction (Genre: Comics/Graphic Novels)
Hellboy is one of the most celebrated comics series in recent years. The ultimate artists’ artist and a great storyteller whose work is, in turn, haunting, hilarious, and spellbinding, Mike Mignola has won numerous awards in the comics industry and beyond. When strangeness threatens to engulf the world, a strange man will come to save it. Sent to investigate a mystery with supernatural overtones, Hellboy discovers the secrets of his own origins and his link to the Nazi occultists who promised Hitler a final solution in the form of a demonic avatar.
The highly successful franchise, Hellboy by visionary director Guillermo Del Toro had its roots in this series of graphic novels. The comics speak of a demon, who is created by Nazi reformists as a power to Hitler. The resultant is a demon with supernatural strength and the ability to wield fire. Although the comics started off on a dull note, eventually over the years, Hellboy came out to become a cult hit with avid readers of superhero stuff. Many claim the graphic novels are more qualitative than the movies at all. The graphic novels and comics which bring the vibrancy of the culture and action within the pages make for a greater read than another. Introduced from 1995, Mike Mignola and John Byrne, Hellboy went onto o win prestigious Best Graphic Novel series in the same year. A definitive reading for anyone who is admirers for the genre of books.
Talented (Talented Saga Book Graphic novels and Comics
Block it out. Impossible for Talia Lyons. When you’re a Mind Manipulator, it’s hard enough to block the thoughts of others, let alone your own. Talented is an emotionally raw Dystopian Romance, about the life of a girl with extraordinary psychic powers, and what happens when a heart is torn between love and rage.
The success of a graphic novel or comics is the feeling of relatability. Talented saga becomes one of the biggest literary eBooks which have connected with its niche reader base and enthralled them globally. The story of a teenage covert spy, Talia Lyons, who is everything you always think she is. Except she’s not. She can read and control other people minds. Thus, this makes Talented a must read, which makes a greater impact in the genre of SciFi fantasy.
Also, the other things which make it influential are that the impact of this success has cropped up many new age writers who are looking to make a mark in genre writing. The series penned out by Sophie Davis, claims to be a trilogy which will go on to define the whole story arch. If you are looking for an intelligently crafted thriller with smart writings, you need to consider these series.
PANDORA: End of Days – Zombie Survival Horror Manga Comic Book Graphic Novel (Manga Comics)
A fast-paced thriller that combines a gripping mystery the likes of Lara Croft’s TOMB RAIDER adventures with the world-ending conspiracies of Resident Evil and the merciless brutality of The Walking Dead, PANDORA End of Days is an exhilarating reinvention of the Zombie survival-horror genre elegantly illustrated in a uniquely beautiful gray-scale mix of Japanese Manga and American Comic Book art style that is sure to leave a bloody impression on you.
This graphic novel which comes into the category of Manga, as discussed above. Coming from the minds of Peter J. Ang, Michael Mcdonough (Editor), Jin Song Kim (Illustrator), the post-apocalyptic tale where the Zombies breakout and plague engulf whole continents. Soon the entire world is facing extinction, and thus the protagonist fights it all. The adventure-filled pages which bring the whole story alive via the illustrations is a must read for anyone looking for a thrilling ride.
Now that we have a great idea as to what genres and categories the digital novels utilise, it is important to know how to make it. The biggest problems that the independent publishers face while making Graphic Novels, Digital Comics and more is the quality. Most of the times, the publishers have to compromise on the quality of illustrations because of budget constraints. Of course, if the writers can overcome this, there is always the issue of story series which makes things complex. However, the trend of Digital books is soon catching up, and you need to jump on the bandwagon. We are curious, which one’s cut the cake for you? Are you a manga fan or a graphical content in digital comics? Which appeals to you more.