When we hear the words “comic book” or “graphic novel” we picture the ultimate superhero comic books that everyone knows about. But what about the term “graphic narrative”? Not a very common phrase that’s heard of, but what comes to mind? It’s actually just like a graphic novel but explores “a range of types of narrative work in comics”(767). In Hillary Chute and Marianne DeKoven’s “Introduction: Graphic Narrative” they delve deeper into the more “sophisticated”(767) content of graphic novels and the intellectual world in which most people don’t see and appreciate from those comics.
In todays day and age, if you put a picture with anything it’ll definitley capture someones attention, especially if it’s something controversial. The old way of thinking about graphic narratives was mostly through action hero comic books, but now there’s more to offer, especially when it comes to the content of a comic. It’s weird thinking that a comic book can be more than about saving the day, fighting crime, or using magical powers; it’s about pushing the envelope as far as topics can go and discussing issues that aren’t so fictional with images that aren’t always pleasant or cool. If i were to ask anyone about graphic novels such as the one’s listed in Chute and DeKovens article would anyone have any clue as to what i’m talking about? …Me neither, and that’s because the articles that are mentioned focus more on topics of “serious academic inquiry” (768) that really make the reader think, which is something that’s pretty much unheard of in the comic book world we think of.
I had no clue about one of the more prominent graphic narratives Maus until i learned we would be reading it in class. I also had no idea that it was a comic book-like novel that talks about Aushwitz. It’s a “Serious comic” (770) that really changes the image of what we think a comic book can be. In all honesty, if there’s pictures with it, then i’ll read it no matter what the content, even if it’s a graphic narrative that will make me think. Most peoples perceptions about a graphic novel are based on the content, so when it comes to such comics like Maus, would more people read it? Will people understand what this kind of literarature is all about? It’s all about keeping an open mind and broadening our imagination as far as our typical view of what comics really are.