Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Just what is a "graphic novel"?

I just got finished reading Shannon Hale's novel, "Austenland." Before I wax eloquent about how much I enjoyed it . . . (Got it from the library 9 hours ago. Took a total of 4 hours to read it. Stayed up after midnight to finish it.) I must side track to an exploration of the definition of a graphic novel.

Here's the text of what I was originally going to post on this entry:

I just finished reading Shannon Hale’s “Austenland.” Loved it. But I’m insatiably curious about the next project she’s working on. The note about the author at the back of the book says, “She and her husband are working together on a graphic novel.”


This is the sweet Mormon writer from Salt Lake City, right? Is a graphic novel what I think it is? If it is, I can’t mention what I think it is. Can Shannon Hale really be thinking about publishing a graphic novel? If so, I feel to plead with her, “Don’t!”

Where is her mother at a time like this?

I must go out on the web and see if she’s really going to publish what I think she’s going to publish. Be back in a minute.

Anyway, I went to Shannon Hale's website ( and, whew! found out that a graphic novel is similar to a book-length illustrated comic book. No wonder I've never heard of one before. (FYI their book is entitled, "Rapunzel's Revenge" and will be out in 2008.)

I suppose that the unfulfilled writer part of me was wondering if Ms. Hale had somehow been seduced by the siren call of real-world publication to branch out into new and experimental genres outside her conservative upbringing. Is that what happens to Mormon writers who make it big? Duh! Obviously I'm not up to snuff on my publishing lingo and definitions.

Good thing I didn't send Ms. Hale an urgent letter pleading with her not to compromise her principles for fame and fortune. Boy would I have looked stupid.

As it is, only those of who read this blog (Hi, Nan) will ever know that I'm hopelessly dumb and will probably forever be on the outside of the publishing world looking longingly in.


Science Teacher Mommy said...

He must be an illustrator. The "graphic novel" is a new genre that is comic book style. It is really popular with the same crowd that likes fantasy and anime. So, again, I reiterate that he must be an illustrator. I'm glad you like Austenland; it is on my list of books I'd like to get my hands on. The writer is on my list of people I want to be. :)

Science Teacher Mommy said...

PS, I'm such an idiot. I'm blogging on speed today and just read the first half. Ignore my last comment. I commented before I read your whole post. Isn't that SO typical of how people converse? I already know what I want to say before you even finish!

Science Teacher Mommy said...

You will freak out when you see THREE comments. Sorry they are all from me. :) Lately I've started getting a lot more traffic. A lot of the people linked to my blog are worth reading and leaving a comment on. They then come back to yours and start making more comments. I know it isn't all about the comments, and you probably have real friends and don't need the feedback. I, on the other hand, feel quite starved for attention some days and the group of virtual friends I have found is very meaningful to me. I find blogging kind of therapeutic.

And yes, I despair of ever being on the INSIDE of the publishing world looking OUT.

Christie said...

I have read some of the other blogs that are posted on your site. (Especially liked Crap-Happy Mamma for a laugh.) But as of yet I'm always pressed for time and haven't left many comments. Sigh.

Someday I'll have more than just you reading these posts. (As my moms is back at school, I hope she, at least, reads them.)

Julie B. said...

Ha! I am chuckling at you and me! I had your same reaction to the whole "graphic novel" thing. Oh my, I went to the library the day after I read Austenland and just happened to walk by a shelf labeled "Graphic Novels". After I clapped my jaw shut and stopped blushing, I decided to look and see what a "graphic novel" REALLY was. Boy was I relieved! Here's to sheltered LDS mommies!