Sunday, August 30, 2009

RA and graphic novels

As promised, I've given some more thought to Readers' Advisory and Graphic Novels, although I'm still learning about both of those things. I read Skim (Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki) a couple of weeks ago and just finished Birth of a Nation: A Comic Novel (Aaron McGrudger, Reginald Hudlin, Kyle Baker).

Lo, in searching just now for a link for Birth of a Nation, I came across this list of Black comics on Reginald Hudlin's site. As good a place as any to start. But the humor and politics in Birth of a Nation are as important as the fact that it features Black characters. The premise: East St. Louis secedes from the U.S. after thousands of Black votes are not counted in the 2000 election. From my own reading and limited comics knowledge, I'd say Ex Machina, which deals with serious political issues with a light touch and some humor, may be a good readalike. Of course, anyone who likes McGruder's Boondocks (TV show or comics) will appreciate Birth of a Nation.

Since my last mention of GN and RA, this awesome article my friend wrote on recommending GNs to adult readers was published. Basically it gives Readers' Advisors license to recommend graphic novels based on readers' prose and/or movie preferences, which should also work vice versa. But I'm at a loss for Black political comedy movies and having no luck with searches.

Skim is a quiet story illustrated in black and white of a high school girl who falls in love with her female art teacher. It's a sad, quirky exploration of the drama of high school friendships and feelings of isolation. The post at Things Mean a Lot that inspired my original venture into GN-RA territory looks for a readalike for Slow Storm, calling it "full of quiet intimacy and longing and loss; books about meaningful but not exactly romantic relationships," and Skim is that. Movies that come to mind are The Squid and the Whale, My Summer of Love, Once, and Ghost World.

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