The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels

Danny Fingeroth’s The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels just arrived today.  I’m going to discuss it in a piece for Guttergeek on canon formation,  along with Tony Isabella’s 1000 Comic Books You Must Read (though I just checked the release date, and it’s not until October 31 and I want to have that piece on canon written before then, so maybe not).

The Rough Guide is a beautiful little package.  It’s square, 7×7.5.  It starts with a chapter defining graphic novels; moves on to a history of comics; includes a 30 page comic that covers some of the same territory narratively, presents “The Canon”, i.e. “the sixty best graphic novels” with an attendant “Ten Graphic Novels Everyone Should Read” and an additional 25 graphic novel call outs of further examples; brief essays on topics like what an editor does, what an inker is, propaganda, censorship; contains a chapter on great comics writers and artists; presents a chapter on manga, another on film adaptations, and closes with a chapter on resources–books about comics, websites, conventions, etc.  All in all it’s an excellent overview of graphic novels and a wonderful conversion tool–it’s the follow up to that you give after you’ve given Understanding Comics.  In fact, Danny and Scott ought to get them packages as the “Comics Conversion Kit.”

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