I've found myself drawn to graphic novels lately (hehe, get it?). I recently read two that caught my eye.
Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Rolston-- This one won the Cybils award for YA Graphic Novel last year. With that kind of recommendation, I didn't want to pass it up. And I'm glad I read it. It was interesting. I can't say it was my favorite -- I had some issues with it. But as far as writing and illustrating quality? Top Notch. As far as engaging and appealing? Very nice. My issues were more along these lines: Why didn't Emiko break sooner? Why didn't she tell anyone what really went on? And how did she get away with it for so long? So, I guess I don't relate personally very much to Emiko. But I think that the book asks valuable questions about art, life, honesty, etc. What is it about? How one summer can change everything. And how Emiko became a superstar, of course.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi-- I've heard this one mentioned in the realm of YA, but I categorize it adult. Its the life story of a girl in Iran. An autobiography. It is fascinating, and the artwork is just perfect. I really think the art makes the book successful. In this sort of scenario -- where we're getting scenes from Marjane Satrapi's life -- the facial expressions tell you just what she thinks of it all, as it's happening. If it were all written out, it would be too wordy! Either too gushy or too austere. Anyway. I wasn't thrilled with the ending, but it obviously couldn't have been any other way. And it ended symbolically as well. The first panels tell about Marji's first experiences with wearing the veil, and I assume that the last panel is the last time she's worn it. The humor is great. The language gets coarse, occasionally. And I'm glad it's not my life story. But I'm glad I read it.