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Gabrielle Bell

Gabrielle Bell shares the pros and cons of personal diary as graphic novel

in Non-Fiction by

Sometimes, we look, but we don’t see. It takes a patient, trenchant observer to map out the seemingly insignificant moments of everyday life in a way that resonates, that feels true. With her delicate, unmistakable line and her sharp wit, Gabrielle Bell is one of the most compelling cartoonists around. In her autobiographical comics, she reflects the world around her with an intense and steady gaze. Her most recent book, Truth Is Fragmentary (Uncivilized Books, 2014), is a collection of diary comics that have been shaped and edited for publication. The storylines that unfold in carefully boxed-in panels often veer in unexpected directions — from tangential thought patterns about everyday life to fantasies of talking bears. Bell shows life as…

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Four must-read, critically acclaimed graphic novels

in Fiction by

I spent most of my early reading life diving into thick volumes of prose, devouring everything from Little Women to Anna Karenina. Apart from some early obsessions with Archie comics and Mad Magazine (the latter stolen from my brother’s room, to be returned before he could notice), I thought of the two worlds of reading as separate. It wasn’t until I read Art Spiegelman’s Maus sometime around middle school that it finally hit me: comics, like straight prose, could catapult me into other worlds, shake up my emotional and mental states, and transform me. I’ve come to appreciate comics and graphic novels as a different kind of reading experience, equally absorbing but a little bit sloppier, more carefree. It’s not…

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