Graphic Novels

Since most of the comic books that have been submitted are high in colour and artistic content but low in storytelling, I question the need to repeat this unit and the entire genre.  Is there value for you as a writer/ reader? Is it too difficult to develop complex plot, theme, and conflict within the pages of graphic novels? Do you feel challenged or insulted by this genre? Some people feel they add to the “dumbing down of society”. Others feel one month out of the year away from typical elements of literature in standard genres is a  breath of fresh air away from the stale,  typical sections of our libraries. Using your graphic organizer, defend the graphic novel genre or add to my bias against it and retire the graphic novel from room 18 once and for all.


59 responses to “Graphic Novels

  1. I’m sort of on both sides because I like comics but some books that are turned into comics shouldn’t be. Like the star wars books, they are pretty good as novels, but as graphic novels/ comics they just ruin the plot. And they make random characters and they end up having one little pannel and that’s it. The end result that i would like would be to end this comic unit. I found that writing them is very hard. All of the good plots were taken by movies based on comic books. I made mine to be sort of like the Batman movie except that the villain wins. The first few pannels were like the beginning of the movie where the Joker and his goons were robbing the bank but it didn’t take that long. So I think that the comic unit should be eliminated

    • I wonder how many comic books it takes to write a good one. Somehow I think you would improve if you tried again. But would this help in high school. OR is that the issue?

    • I don’t know if this would help in high school , I like reading comics but definitely not writing them again 🙂

  2. Personally, I don’t like the graphic novel unit. I just don’t get the point of them, their difficult and confusing.

    I find it easier to come up with a plot if Im actually telling a story, I don’t know why I just do. I thought writing a comic book would be easy and fun, but its actually really difficult, coming up with a story line and figuring out what to draw in the pictures and what to leave for the gutters was the most difficult task for me.

    I don’t think you should continue using the graphic novel unit in room 18.

  3. My opinion, is that I didn’t like the comic unit. Like Ethan’s, its better if they didnt use reagular books or movies and put them into a graphic novel because people would get confused and dont know what story to believe.

    Also, alot like Rebecca’s, it’s hard to come up with a plot and story and characters and the gutters. It takes a while to come up with a story and you need time to do so, it take comic writers a while to make them, but since we hade a week or two to do it, we had to spend our times usefully.

    I believe that the comit unti should not be used in room 18.

    • How new is this genre to you? Does it deserve a second chance. I know I have tried to read a novel and not like it. But, later on, I gave it a chance a loved it. In fact, I didn’t like sci-fi genre until recently.

      • This genre is very new for me to write but not to read. I have read graphic novels before but I never actually wrote or drawn a graphic novel. I might try it again if we had a bit more time to finish the comic book because like other writer’s, it takes a while to come up with a story line and everything. But I would defiantly try it again. 😀

  4. Personally I disliked the graphic noval untit Alot.
    When we were in lit circles I found it extreamly difficult to discuss a book we read in 15 minutes. It didnt explain the characters it didnt explain the person feelings. As discussion director it was very hard to make questions up about a 40 page book, so alot of the questions were reapeted, “how do you feel….”
    When I was writing the noval, I felt very stupid ! Writing things like “I’ll get you next time” Just made me feel like a 6 year old who enjoys transformers and things like that.
    If you were going to ever do this unit again please keep in mind that the woman had a very hard time with this and its worrying that we might not make the mark.

    On friday I went into Manchester with my mum and they were haveing a meeting about getting the boys ot read more I had to go and say this to them form a girls perspective… P.S- Mr.Mackay says hi. 🙂

    • What was the response of the Manchester audience?

      • They were laughing because i looked sort of out of place.
        Mr.Mackay got me to share about my graphic novel and he asked me questions. They were trying to think of books that would get boys interested. One of the ideas was a graphic noval. He was just asking me from a girls point of view.

      • They were laughing because i looked sort of out of place.
        Mr.Mackay got me to share about my graphic novel and he asked me questions. They were trying to think of books that would get boys interested. One of the ideas was a graphic novel. He was just asking me from a girls point of view.

      • Oooops ! Sorry for it twice !

  5. In my opinion, I love writing my own graphic novel however I would not read it over a novel if I had a choice. A graphic novel does a poor job doing character development. Since most graphic novels aren’t that long there is almost very little content. In a novel they author describes the characters. There is more narration in novels which I like. Also, the plots are more complex in novels. Since novels are all words you don’t get carried away by the bright colors in graphic novels and focus on the plot. You get a better sense of setting in graphic novels by the picture. Though in novels you get a sense of breath, feel, taste etc. because the author describes these things. However reading a graphic novel is more fun, the sense of accomplishment and reading a rich book is much far better.
    I admit writing a graphic novel is easier than a novel, and it’s fun too. In a graphic novel you can get creative and make a flashy story. Though when you do graphics you get too distracted by all the effects and focus less on the story. In my graphic novel the narrative box didn’t have much about characterization. I feel it’s easier to do in characterization in novels. You can’t really get too complex with the plot because it’s based for teen boys.
    Overall I liked the the unit, but I do not recommend it for next year. Maybe you can still do it as a more of a computer class and not English.

  6. Personally, I did not enjoy reading or writing the graphic novels.
    I thought they were easier to read, but harder to understand because in the 40 or 50 pages you can’t really develop the characters. And it had to be a story told in that amount of space. Also you can’t draw every move the characters make, Aswell you have to think about what your character is going to look like, and how your going to draw and write your story if you have less space provided. That why I think reding and writing a narrative is much more easier. In a narrative the author discribes the characters well, also you can kind of put you self in the characters shoes and imagine that it’s you facing all the things the cahracter is facing. You can’t really do that with a graphic novel because you have the picture of what the character looks like. Also writing a narrative I believe is alot easier then writing a graphic novel because all you have to do is really think about what the story is going to be about and the problem, setting etc.

    I do not believe next year you should do graphic novels, I believe it takes a lot of time coming up with a story where you have to tell eveything by drawing it and with not that many words.

  7. I personally did not like the graphic novel unit, it was confusing and as rebecca said i didn`t understand what the point of the unit was. It was kind of difficult to develop complex,plot,theme, within the pages because if it is a 40 page book it is kind of hard to find the plot ,theme,conflict, Also the graphic novel i was reading did not have that much of the characterization it did not have the description of the character,traits.etc. I also thought the comic project was hard because it depends on the what your comic was about and we didn`t have that much time to do it and yes i felt challenged.
    So in conclusion i think you should retire the graphic novel unit ( My opinion).

  8. I think Mr. Whattam shouldn’t stop using the comic book/comic life unit because, its fun to come up with characters and your story. But I think we should’ve been able to make our characters first before we made our story. I thought it was very hard to make a story before we made our characters because then when we had to make our characters they didn’t fit our stories… but it was a fun unit and to me its like time away from work. I agree with fahim because it was hard to make a plat line, theme, traits etc.
    But I do think Mr. whattam should keep the comic book unit (:

  9. I agree with Ellie,
    The literature circles were really difficult.
    The hardest role for me however was the ‘Connector’ because most graphic novels are about war and fighting, especially the ones we read. I didn’t really have any personal connections to ANY of these books.

  10. Personally I do not like the graphic novel genre, because it is to confusing. It is quite hard to find the theme, and plot. Novels are my choice because while reading the book you can have your own image of what is happening in the book, but while reading a graphic novel it gives you the picture which doesn’t help broaden the mind. Plus if the book is small like most comics are it’s hard to get a good idea of what the book is actually saying or what it’s really about. So in my opinion I think instead of writing graphic novels we should read and write short stories.. So please no more graphic novels !!!

  11. I didn’t think that the comic unit was that bad i found it pretty easy to come up with a plot line and as for reading them i would enjoy reading a comic book more than a novel because for me it has more of a first person view because it’s showing you the people talking and thinking. so i would read a comic unless the novel was about any hate groups including the nazis (todays and Hitler’s ) the black panthers and even the kkk
    i don’t know why i find this topic interesting but i do

  12. First of all, I believe that narratives (novels) are more capable of explaining events and telling stories. One of the reasons is because of the fact that narratives are able to describe character profiles which gives your mind’s eye an idea of what characters should appear (this being more amusing). Graphic novels give characters one appearance which make reading and customizing the story less appealing. Thirdly narratives can contain much more complex story lines with tons of possibilities. Graphic novels are usually lead the plot in one direction.
    In conclusion my standing opinion is narratives are a better source of learning. 😦

  13. I have read many graphic novels before and when I read them, yes I feel a little “dumb,” but than again I love to read them. I am the kind of person that needs pictures with my books, not to many pictures, but some.
    With graphic novels I don’t feel challenge at all! It is hard to put detail in a book that is all pictures, because the pictures don’t really explain what the person is feeling,saying,or thinking.
    The graphic novels were some what confusing to me in the begging, the pannels were everywhere, the speech bubbles were all over the place, so for a person who might have just pick up a graphic novel for the first time, they will be very confused.
    Over all I think we should retire the graphic novel, and just stick to regular novels.

    • Were the other graphics novels you have read more challenging than ours? Do you think the limited nature of the collection in our library has created a bias to your opinion and perhaps mine?

  14. Repeat it? Oh no! Not again! I didn’t feel as though I got anywhere as a writer, I felt like I was in grade 4 all over again! I found it very difficult to write something with quality and don’t feel like I showed the quality of writing that I know I can write. I don’t think it was too hard to develop the plot, theme, and conflict, although I did find it hard to develop those things with any depth. I didn’t quite feel insulted, but I did feel as though it was pointless. I thought it was pointless because making a comic book didn’t make me go anywhere as a writer, if anything the results of my work would be lower than usual. I don’t think it “dumbs down” society because they are good for some people although the people they aren’t good for it may bring them down. I think we should have been given the option to see who wanted to make the book and who didn’t so that the people who wanted to do it and the people it would benefit could still have done it. RETIRE COMIC BOOKS FOREVER! So there it is, that is my opinion. Do you agree?

    • Lots of honesty and ideas.I agree that writing generally has a great deal of quality. But I think you are overlooking the planning and editing stages of this genre is quite similar to others. To your going somewhere as a writer-Most years teachers expect you to write poems, do you think it is because we want you to become professional poet. Perhaps one of your artistic classmates will be a graphic novelist.

    • I disagree whole heartedly with “it was pointless” Prehaps the graphic genre is not in your taste, however that didn’t mean it didn’t help the artistic few in 87. Adding to that, one of my career choices when I graduate University is something graphic, LIKE a graphic novelist or graphic designer, so saying that it was pointless and no use is untrue to some. Mind you, if it didn’t do much for everyone else it the class, it gave them a wider variety of books to read, and not everyone wants to get really in depth and detailed when reading a book sometime, prehaps sometimes they just want to sit down and relax with a book and a graphic novel would be perfect for that job! (:

  15. Personally i liked the graphic novel unit. For a graphic novel it is easer to understand the man message. Also I loved writing the graphic novel. Because going out and just taking shots for it. I also like reading novel and writing them but i am more of a graphic novel person. But i don’t hate novels but i don’t like them as much as graphic novels but if the novel if about sports i am up for it.

    • You are their main target audience. One vote for the graphic novel.

      P.S loved your comic book. Any 13yr old who puts his grandmother in his work deserves high marks.

  16. i strongly believe that the comic novels were a waste of a unit. first of all the vocabulary and the plot theme etc was not at challenge at all. i think it was a grade 5 project. not grade 8. also its so hard doing literature circle on a 40 page book, you cant get very deep. i did those last year on a novel and it was so much simpler to have deep connctions etc. Personally it was challenging to right for a male maybe if he gave us the option of righting for a female it would have been easier. Writing an easy is a lot more complex but easier at the same time because there’s a format and once you have your facts it just putting it into sentences. i disliked this unit very much, i don’t think you should teach this next year, please no more graphic novels !!! 🙂

    • Adding options to change the audience of your comic books seems fair. A waste of time not so fair. The planning and editing stages are similar. Many of your classmates have enjoyed unit. The level of the Lincoln collection needs to be improved- agreed.

      watch the editing.

  17. I think that graphic novels are cool to read but when it comes down to writing one i personally don’t like it, so i agree that they should be band from room 18

    • Why didn’t you like writing it. I want you to help me make it better for the next group. You have the power.

  18. Personally, I did not like this unit, but I think it’s good to explore other genres. I had a really hard time making a good story line, because, unlike a narrative story, I had to be concise. I found it hard to try to make speech bubbles between people, instead of just telling the story. I found that it was harder to put all the characteristics of a good story into a graphic novel than in a narrative story. I enjoy reading a narrative story much better than reading a graphic novel, because there is more characterization and plot. I love the amount of details you get when you read a narrative story. It is easier to read a graphic novel, but I feel stupid when I do. I think that you should keep doing this unit as it was a nice break from writing regular stories. My suggestion that I would give, is to give us more time to work on them.

  19. Tell me what you really feel. What about as a option for lower readers/writers or just for boys?

    • Like you have said in class, most guys only read one book after their school is done, so graphic novels are a good alternative for them. Also, for people learning how to read, who don’t like it, or just aren’t very good at it graphic novels are great for them.

  20. I found that while graphic novels are not my number one genre on my reading list they are not too bad. I would still much rather read the full length novel though. Within a graphic novel I find too much is left for the reader to interperet. It’s almost the same as when a movie is made from a novel, too much is left out! As for plot and character development. It is much harder to understand how a charcyer is growing through small snatchs of naration and diologe.

    As for writting a graphic novel? The same thing applys. It’s much more difficult to show how your characters grow and change. It’s also trying to move your plot along in a way that makes sense. Without suficent characterization the plot delvelpment doesn’t make sense!

    In answer to you question Mr. Whattam. No I do not think you should continue with this unite next year. (and this has nothing to do with my handing my project in late but…) if you do so decide to continue on. I believe that the students should have a longer period of time to work on there graphic novels. (:

    • Fair points. I am going to send 87’s comic books to a grade 5 class to see what real audience thinks of our products.

      Improving the Lincoln collection is necessary; but, we are closing so I think that isn’t going to happen.

      • While sending it to grade fives gives us a different perspective is there a way that if you do this unite again you could combine the skills of your class? Like you said there are people who can write and people who can draw. Perhaps a combined effort would improve the quality of the final product?

  21. Harveer you are not suppose to start a sentence with because just sayin.

  22. I agree with sydney good points.

  23. I believe graphic novels should stay because it’s different from the normal narrative books we read all the time during novel circles and such. The pictures are very easy to understand and you could write more about the book because if you can get more out of the book, you can add more detail. To writing them, its a matter of opinion, if you are more artistic and enjoy drawing and creating stories, then you would enjoy graphic novels- to say someone who doesn’t like like looking at pictures and drawing. I also believe Graphic Novels do not dumb you down but widen your variety of books to read and some graphic novels could be just as complicated and detailed as a narrative. Over all I think Graphic Novels should stay for next year. From Mich

  24. Mr Whattam what school are you going to send the comics i forgot.:):)

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