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GRAPHIC NOVELS: Stories To Change Your Life

A Review By: Publishers Weekly

The following review appeared on the Publisher Weekly website on 20 December 2005.

Where other guides to comics may fall short, Paul Gravett’s Graphic Novels: Everything You Need to Know (Collins Design, $24.95), triumphs. This book is a superb example of how to be accessible to the neophyte while simultaneously satisfying the well-read graphic novel aficionado. Gravett even answers the most obvious questions - which do I read first, the words or the pictures? - without writing down to the newbies.
Dividing the spectrum of graphic novels into genres, Gravett focuses on key works, such as Dan Clowes’s Ghost World, Will Eisner’s A Contract with God, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen and more. He reproduces a choice page from each artist’s work, clearly explains the story excerpts and then provides incisive commentary on the creators’ storytelling techniques. And he’s at his finest showing how certain visual images and graphic storytelling devices illuminate the themes and characterizations in a comics story.

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