Like all readers, I have reading preferences, likes and dislikes, and a comfort zone where I can safely read what I enjoy most. For me, this means I stay in a bubble of classic novels, Gothic novels, horrors, thrillers and YA fiction. I want to become braver, as a reader, so I have devised the Learn to Love Challenge, in which I will sample a a variety of genres I tend to stay away from, and review my experiences along the way, and perhaps I will “learn to love” them.

Today I have chosen to Learn to Love … graphic novels!

Part 1:

1. Have you ever read texts from this genre before?

2. Why have you stayed away from this genre?
Firstly, I think the term “graphic novel” is a fancy way of saying “comic book”. I think the stories will be too cheesy and too short for anything exciting to happen. I just can’t see the appeal of looking at pictures and hardly any writing.

3. Why have you chosen these particular texts?
As comics are so short, I thought it would be better to sample two texts than just the one. I have chosen the first The Walking Dead comic by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore because a little while ago, I started watching the AMC TV series, The Walking Dead and I really enjoy it. I thought it would be interesting to see how the comic and the show match-up.

I have also chosen the first X-Men comic by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby because I didn’t mind the X-Men films, and I thought it would be good to sample two different comics that are on completely different topics.

Part 2:

1. What did you like?
I much preferred The Walking Dead comic because the story appealed to me more and I thought the illustrations looked better. I can see instantly see why the series caught on, I was left wanting to read the next comic, despite already knowing the storyline!

I thought Kirkman’s explanation following the comic, describing how he didn’t want to create a horror, but a survivalist story which just so happens to occur at the time of a zombie apocalypse, was really interesting and explains at times why you can feel as if have been no recent ‘walker’ attacks.

I thought Lee’s idea of the X-Men was very creative, and I could see how it sparked films and TV shows and drew a wide fan base for lovers of science fiction, fantasy and superheroes.

2. What did you dislike?
I didn’t enjoy the X-Men comic as much; the storyline was okay but it felt so predictable and the use of bright colours made it seem very childish and cheesy. Also, I didn’t like the overuse of explanation marks for almost all thoughts and dialogue! It just didn’t seem real! Can you imagine if someone wrote a novel in that style! It would seem over the top and ridiculous! Continuously!

Part 3:

1. After reading the texts, would you say that you enjoy this genre?
Not really. I am still not convinced that the “graphic novel” is a form of literature comparable with novels, poems, plays etc. and I can’t say that my overall opinion has changed dramatically. The narratives in both comics were really brief and I felt like I’d only just learnt who the characters were or what was happening before the story was wrapped up and I was told to subscribe for the next edition to find out what happens.

2. Have any of your preconceptions changed?
I was surprised by how little words like BAM, ULP, CRASH, WOW, POW etc. were actually featured in either comic – stereotypical words I assumed were always worked into the narrative somehow.

3. Would you read more texts in this genre?
I wouldn’t mind reading more of The Walking Dead comics, as this might develop my understanding of the TV show. I certainly wouldn’t pay for them however; they do seem like an expensive purchase for so little content. Thankfully, the texts I sampled today, I was able to read them for free!

As always, I am more than willing to discuss opinions further in the comments, so please leave any thoughts you have down below. Do you enjoy graphic novels? What’s your favourite series?

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– Judith



6 thoughts on “Learn to Love Challenge Day #1

      1. Yup, it’s Japanese (or sometimes Korean). There are almost as many genres in manga as there are in normal books: romance, fantasy, sci-fi, horror … I love shojo (girly) manga, especially the high school romance stories. Fruits Basket is one really popular title, and Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You) is another favorite romantic comedy of mine. Shonen (boys – but I like to think of it as more action-based) is really good too. Naruto is huge: it’s a ninja based fantasy. And fairy Tail is another fantasy/action/comedy.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I love this challenge! I will have to do this in the next few months. It’s a great idea to try new genres and see if you like them- sometimes you just had one bad experience that was a fluke.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting! I like to test myself with my reading, which is why I come up with different challenges. Some of them are inspired by other bloggers but others, like this one, I create myself. 😊


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