The Evolution of Illustrated books

Over the last decade, even the last 50 years, books have evolved from the straight-up literary work or work of non-fiction, into to a complex set of genres and categories. A category I have enjoyed seeing grow in popularity is graphic novels. As a child, I never really read the superhero comics, but I always loved Archie. I loved Snoopy. And of course Garfield.

As an adult, I realized there was usually another level of dialogue altogether with these comics; precisely why both parents and children often fight over who reads the Sunday comics first.

So imagine my surprise seeing the release of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge. There are obviously graphic novels already based on real-life, Maus and Persepolis, to name a few. I guess for me, it’s being mentally and emotionally prepared to read a story that is still relatively recent (less than five years ago), and still a very painful thing for its survivors to discuss.

This is why I continually appreciate the graphic novel category, it never stays the same. I attribute it to the artists and their drive to get this material out to the general masses. Much like any now popular subculture, where everything is DIY and popular by word-of-mouth, graphic novels reached this same level many years ago. Yet, this category refuses to root itself in only one approach, and as we know progression is a good thing. It keeps readers engaged, brings new ideas to the surface, and keeps agents like myself loving our jobs even more.