Pulitzer. Booker. National Book Award. Many of you may be familiar with the names of these prominent annual literary awards. But how many of you have heard of the Eisner?
The Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards recognize the year’s best new graphic novels and comic books. And no, graphic novels and comics aren’t just for kids! Today’s graphic novels are not your old superhero 10 cent serials. Rather, they are storytelling, at once intimate and expansive, that combines words and visuals to tell complex and compelling stories.
Some of the format’s most well-known works are frank and complex memoirs. If you’ve never read Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, or Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, try one of these titles today. Or, check out some of the newly announced 2023 Eisner Award winners (labeled on the spine with gold “E” emblems) like Kate Beaton’s Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands or Flung Out of Space by Grace Ellis and Hannah Templer. Every genre you’d find in more traditional books you’ll also find in graphic novels, including romance, thrillers, sci fi, fantasy, mysteries, and horror. Visual styles range from simple, black ink sketches to panels bursting with vivid, painterly color.
I find that I have to read more slowly when I read graphic novels, as my visual literacy is not as fluent as my textual literacy. But I am grateful for this change in pace, as I find it a refreshing, enriching experience that helps me engage deeply in the story that the author and illustrator are sharing.
You can find the library’s newest adult graphic novel titles next to our new books on CD on the shelves at the end of the circulation desk. Our older titles are located at the top of the stairs on the mezzanine level.
— Debbie Abrams, Reference Librarian