Friday, 30 December 2011

The Sudden Popularity of Graphic Novels

During my recent internet browsing, and my past couple of visits to Chapters, I have noticed something that I find somewhat curious and interesting. Apparently turning works of fiction into graphic novels is becoming somewhat of a norm! Over the past year or so more and more adaptations of books as graphic novels have been hitting the shelves, such as Fahrenheit 451, Twilight, City of Bones, and Macbeth. Most recently it was announced that The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo would be coming out as a graphic novel sometime in 2012! While I'm by no means complaining about this recent phenomenon (I love graphic novels), I'm kind of curious about why publishers are suddenly turning these popular books into graphic novels?

Perhaps one of the main motivations is to target books that already have a fairly large fan base in order to make a larger profit. I could certainly see this being the case with novels like Twilight, City of Bones, and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo based on how popular these books have become. Other, less known books, however, have also been adapted into graphic novels, like Wicked Lovely. Although I'm sure the Wicked Lovely series is popular within it's own circle of fans, it by no means has the amount of followers as other YA books like Twilight.

Maybe another reason why adaptations of books into graphic novels has become so popular is in order to make it easier for readers to understand works of fiction that may be more difficult to comprehend. This could certainly be the case for books like Fahrenheit 451, Macbeth, and Crime and Punishment, which I'm sure many students and adults alike have had trouble fully absorbing and understanding. By having these books adapted into graphic novels, the visual cues could make it much easier for readers to follow along. For this reason I think graphic novels are a great tool for encouraging reading, and helping students better comprehend some of the more difficult concepts within certain novels.

Whether or not this recent phenomenon is due to the large following of some books, or making difficult works of fiction more accessible, these adaptations into graphic novels have proved that they have worth through the many awards they have received, and their own level of popularity. For example, the graphic novel adaptation of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series was chosen by readers themselves to win the 2011 Goodreads Choice award for Best Graphic Novel. The fact that many people appear to be reading and enjoying these adaptations proves that there is definitely a growing demand for these particular graphic novels.

What do you guys think about this growing trend of turning works of fiction into graphic novels? Have you read any of these adaptations? Is there a particular book you would be interested in reading as a graphic novel?


Lan said...

I think maybe another goal of the graphic novel is to get new readers. Particularly of the male population. Graphic novels have traditionally been the realm of boys, so this might be a way for publishers to get boys interested in a story enough for them to think about picking up the actual book.

Jenny said...

K, I've never really understood graphic novels. I don't know why, but I haven't. I think I might just have to pick one up and just try it...this coming year, even. ;)

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

I think it's kind of interesting... personally, if I've read a whole novel or series, I'm not interested in getting the graphic novel version. Then again I'm not a huge graphic novel reader in general... the ones I've really enjoyed have been non-fiction, though... like Persepolis and Maus.

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