Graphic Novel

Two Graphic Novels: Everything is Teeth and The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil

The experience of reading a graphic novel is very different to that of reading a text-based one, but I think it is well worth exploring this genre. The illustrations add a different dimension to everything and allow a humorous undercurrent to develop next to the serious subject matter.

Everything is Teeth and The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil share many characteristics and I think anyone who enjoys one will appreciate the other.

Everything is Teeth Source: Library

Everything is Teeth by Evie Wyld, Illustrated by Joe Sumner

Evie Wyld is most famous for her beautifully written fiction, but in this book she heads in a completely different direction – explaining why her childhood was filled with a fear of sharks.

The book is beautifully illustrated throughout; showing how her summers spent in Australia influenced her life back in England.

The book contained many interesting facts about sharks and shark attacks, but I especially loved seeing the world through a child’s eyes. There was a fabulous innocence and a refreshing honesty that I much admired. The illustrations allowed her imagination to come alive in a way that wouldn’t be possible with text alone and some of the images of sharks lurking in every day situations were particularly creepy.


I read this book in less than an hour, but still remember it vividly many months after completing it. Recommended to anyone without a fear for sharks!


 Source: Library

The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins

The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil heads in a very different direction. It is an adult fairy tale revolving around Dave, a man with a beard that wont stop growing.


There was a comic element to the situation, but I loved the way the story developed to give a strong moral message.

The battle between the neat and tidy town of ‘Here’ and the chaotic wilderness of the surrounding ‘There’ was amusing to witness.  It was all completely bonkers, but there was a worrying element of truth running beneath the surface.

I recommend this book to anyone looking for something light-hearted to distract them for a few hours.


2010 Graphic Novel

The Master and Margarita: The Graphic Novel

The Master and Margarita: A Graphic Novel (Eye Classics)

A few years ago I read The Master and Margarita, but although I enjoyed it, I felt as though a lot went over my head. When I saw the graphic novel version I decided to read it in the hope it would shed light on some of the more bizarre aspects of the book. I think it did a great job of summarising the plot, but as it can be read in less than an hour it didn’t delve into any of the more complex areas of the book.

The graphic novel is made up of both colour and black and white drawings. The style was simple, but effective:


The pictures also managed to convey Bulgakov’s satirical humor and I found myself smiling at more scenes from the graphic novel than from the original.

I think it works well as an introduction to the book. Having a brief over-view of the story will help readers to understand more of Bulgakov’s complex book – or give those who are too intimidated to try a brief glimpse into this weird world. But anyone really wanting to gain a deep insight into The Master and Margarita probably needs to study it for years.


2000 - 2007 Graphic Novel Memoirs

Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi (Book and Film)

Persepolis is often quoted as being one of the best graphic novels in existence, so I have been wanting to read it for a while. It is an autobiography about what life was like for the author growing up in Iran and her experiences of being sent away to school in Austria.

I’d describe Persepolis as being an important book, rather than an enjoyable one. A lot of it felt like reading a very good history book, rather than a personal experience of life in Iran. I loved the details of her personal life and did find some sections amusing, but overall the mood of the book was quite oppressive. It was very informative and I admit that there was a lot I didn’t know before reading it, but I would have preferred to learn more about her life than the politics of the country.

It was also quite slow to read. There was a lot of detail in each picture, so the pace was much slower than the average graphic novel. The illustrations were quite simple, but they portrayed all that was needed to be put across effectively.

Whilst I was reading the book I saw that the film was being shown on television, so decided to record it and watch it once I’d finished. It was an interesting comparison as I think it is the closest a film has ever come to following a book – it was just like seeing the pictures on each page moving in front of you, which meant that this is another rare example of a film being slightly better than the book.

I think that this is a book everyone should read at some point and it will probably become a classic of our age.


Did you enjoy Persepolis?

What is your favourite graphic novel?

1990s Graphic Novel

The Boy Who Kicked Pigs – Tom Baker

The Boy Who Kicked Pigs wasn’t a book I had ever heard of, but it happened to be in with a box of books I bought, and the title intrigued me. I had a quick flick through and ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting. It is a very short book, containing an illustration on each page. It isn’t quite a graphic novel, but I think it would appeal to people who love to read them. 

The only word to describe this book is bizarre! The title is an accurate description of the plot, as the book follows a young boy who loves kicking pigs. The writing is easy to read and mildly amusing, but I found I was cringing at the puns as often as I was laughing at them:

After that little experience, whenever he saw a pig or a flitch of bacon he used to go quite red in the face and everyone would laugh. But Robert was cured. He never kicked so much as a packet of pork scratchings ever again.

The illustrations are quite cute and add to the charm of the book, but the plot was too basic and weird to appeal to me.



I think this book would probably appeal to teenage boys who aren’t big readers, or completest Dr. Who fans who want to read everything written by the 4th Doctor! 


Graphic Novel Uncategorized

Fun Home – Alison Bechdel

Fun Home is the first graphic novel I have ever read, and although it is a very different experience to reading a book, I enjoyed it very much. I read Fun Home as part of the Dewey challenge. You can see her review here.

Fun Home has been described as one of the first graphic memoirs. It is basically a coming of age story, following one girl into adulthood, as she realises that she is a lesbian.  The book is well observed, and full of light humor:


There were lots of literary references. I think bibliophiles will really appreciate this book, and the way that quotes from Oscar Wilde and Homer were used to sum up many of the feelings the characters experienced.

The title refers to the family funeral business, and I loved the insights into life surrounded by death:


The book reveals the thoughts and feelings of a teenager discovering her sexuality, and so is sexually explicit in places. It contains some full frontal nudity, so avoid it if you are offended by this.


This book was touching, intelligent and full of surprises. I recommend it to anyone looking for something a bit different.