How are graphic novels perceived by different people?
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I’m PhD student and former 7th grade English teacher, and I am beginning a research project involving graphic novels. I want to get a sense of the ways graphic novels are viewed by various stakeholders in education and the community. I could really use input from people familiar with young readers. If there are any benevolent souls who could spare a few minutes, could they please reply to the questions below?
1. Do you feel that you currently have a well-stocked selection of graphic novels? Please describe any barriers that prevent you from having a wider selection.
2. When young people choose these books in the presence of a parent, guardian, or teacher what kind of reactions do they get? Would you say most adults are supportive of the form or not?
3. Do you personally enjoy graphic novels in your own reading life? Is there anything you can think of that would help you feel more confident selecting recommending graphic novels?
4. What questions do you think we should be asking about graphic novels? Please provide any additional information you think we ought to know.
I really appreciate any help you can offer!
2. Usually I would say they are supported in their choice. I've rarely heard a parent make a disparaging remark about a young person's book choice, and I don't think I've ever heard one about a graphic novel.
3. Yes I do. I would feel more confident in my recommendations if I actually enjoyed reading Superhero comics and most manga (I enjoy some manga but have very specific tastes). When someone asks about Superhero books I have little to go on because I personally can't tell the chalk from the cheese.
4. I'd be interested to see how graphic novels are perceived around the country and around the world. I'm in Phoenix, AZ if that helps.
2. Most adults are fans, so they are usually delighted when the offspring follow suit. Some of my fellow librarians don't share my enthusiasm, but those are retiring and hopefully being replaced by people who are at least neutral if not fans. Our Babymouse collection started with the donation by a school librarian who refused to have it in "her" library. Frankly, I am more troubled by parents who refuse to let their kids read anything "below" their level, not realizing the importance of comfort reading and the confidence gained there.
3. Love them, especially memoir or history. Wish I were more superhero oriented, however.
4. What do they offer in terms of complexity? There is more going on in most GNs than simply looking at pictures. How does context and interpretation move a reader? Why are GN readers usually fans for life, in my experience?