About this Blog

If you are interested in, passionate about or looking to learn more about anime or graphic novels, then you have come to the right place. This blog will give you insight, information and resources to allow you to learn all about graphic novels:

History of Graphic Novels

The history and rise of the graphic novel is an interesting one. In fact, it dates back as far as 1842 when the first ever graphic novel was published in the United States. This was titled The ‘Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck’ and was a comedy written by Rodolphe Toffler. The story followed a young man and his lady friend. This comic was followed up by ‘The Yellow Kid’ which was published in 1895 and gained popularity and became a brand unto itself, one of the first branded and well-known characters in the world of graphic novels. These were so popular that The Yellow Kid got its own book published in 1897.

This marked the beginning of the graphic novel era with comic strips becoming more prevalent and popular from 1915 through the 1930s. Some were about superheroes, others more comedic in nature. Publishers started to capitalize on the increasing popularity of graphic novels and took then from strips in the newspaper to entire sagas and stories published in book form. The first ever comic BOOK was called ‘New Funnies’ which was simply a collection of comics that had appeared in newspapers.

The real catalyst for graphic novels, however, came in 1928 with the release of Superman, who remains a household name even today. This only led to more popularity when, in the the 1940’s, millions of copies circulated. Readership and audiences were diverse, with fans all over the world. These graphic novels were notably popular among soldiers during the war, offering them entertainment that they otherwise would not have.

Only a decade later, in the 1950’s, the comic book and graphic novel world was shaken up by the introduction and increasing popularity of the television. It was hard to compete with this new phenomenon but the graphic novel trend and the loyal audience and readers of graphic novels did not fade out, but did get labeled as children’s books, especially in North America. Even though it may have been labeled this way in America, there were different readers and perceptions of graphic novels in other parts of the world.

Manga, for example, became popular in the late 1990s and was a genre that first became popular in Japan. It then grew in popularity with different ages and all over the world, gaining a significant spot on the shelves of graphic novel stores and book stores as well.

Over the later decades, graphic novels have evolved with hundreds of genres and subgenres and readers all over the world, even today.

Most Popular Graphic Novels

Some of the most notable and popular graphic novels across the entire world include:

  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns; This was written and published in the late 1990s, specifically 1997. It quickly became one of the most popular graphic novels in the world and it still is today.

It features the iconic Batman as well as the Joker.

  • Alice in Sunderland: This is based on the main character from the infamous Alice in Wonderland. The twists of this graphic novel are darker and much different than the original story. The story takes place in… you guessed it… Sunderland.
  • V for Vendetta: This graphic novel was turned into a live action motion picture and was extremely popular in mainstream film all over the world. It is set in the future in Britain and focuses on a city that lost its freedom and tells a tale of oppression.
  • Black Hole: Written by Charles Burns, this graphic novel took place in the 1970s and was set in an area with a pandemic and illness. The endemic manifests itself and appears in many different ways. Those who happen to get the illness or infection become extremely evil and sinister. The worst part? There is no cure for this illness.

History of Anime

Anime means something different to everyone. In Japan, anime refers to and is defined as anything animated at all. The rest of the world knows anime to be animation exclusively from Japan. Why is Japanese animation so special? What makes it different from other animated or types of cartoons?

The history of anime dates back over a century ago. It was released by someone named Shimokawa Oten. The ‘Anime’ was only five minutes in length and was drawn in chalk. This film ended up destroyed in an earthquake.

So What is Anime?

You can learn all about anime, what it is, what it means and what it actually looks like as you read throughout this blog and all of its pages. Anime is not like any cartoons you would see in North America especially the United States and is characterized uniquely by its artwork, storytelling, story lines and the cultural influence of the Japanese.

Anime is most commonly seen in the form of television shows and movies. They range from wildly out there to more realistic. The artwork is typically pleasing and engaging. The story lines range and are diverse but are not always full of villains and superheroes.

Read on for More Information

For more information on everything there is to know and learn about graphic novels and about anime, continue reading. Now that you have a foundational understanding of the history of graphic novels and anime as well as what they are, you are well prepared to continue on learning about anime and about all different types, styles and genres of graphic novels.

Whether this is the first time you are hearing of or learning about anime and graphic novels or it is your lifetime passion, there are resources and there is information on this blog to pique and keep your interest. There is lots to know and this is just scraping the surface of the vast world of graphic novels.