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Ride a Pale Horse
Helen MacInnes
The Samurai's Wife
Laura Joh Rowland
Daytripper - Fábio Moon, Gabriel Bá, Craig Thompson, Dave Stewart, Sean Konot Since Daytripper is my first graphic novel (or at least my first one aimed at adults), I really don't have any idea how this compares to any other graphic novel out there. I don't know if this book is awful, good, or exceptional. I do know that I really liked it, though.

I found this story to be extremely moving, extremely deep, and extremely complex and layered. It rang true both in the big events, and in the tiny, still, quiet moments that made up Bras's life. The struggles, the relationships, the doubts, and the drives that were the tapestry of Bras's life were rich, and so much more than I would have ever expected from a graphic novel. How can so much be conveyed with so few words?

Answer? Pictures. The illustrations in this book were always impactful, and a very conscious, deliberate use of color set so much of the mood and place in this story. I didn't love all of the art--I especially wasn't enamored of the faces, but on the other hand, there were frames in this book that were gorgeous and that made me stop dead in my tracks. I don't think that this particular story could have been effectively told in a tradional format. The number of words that would have been required in order to describe this world to the reader would have completely inhibited the flow of this story, and the amount of paper such a work would have required would have caused the elimination of a great portion of the world's forests!

As much as I liked this story, though, I still don't know if I'm going to become a regular reader of graphic novels. Observation is not my strong suit, and neither is patience. Being patient enough to truly observe the frames in a graphic novel is probably not something that I am going to be able to do very regularly. What I have learned, though, is graphic novels can be every bit as "real literature" as a classic novel in traditional format. I may not read graphic novels in profusion, but I certainly won't snub them any longer.