Illustrating Life One Panel At A Time

The Library Effect

Enhancing Learning Through Sequential Art

It wasn’t until the 1990s that graphic novels increased in popularity and acceptance as a literary expression, when Art Spielgelman’s Maus, a Holocaust survivor story, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and Joe Sacco’s graphic journalism piece Palestine won the American Book Award in 1996.

But, what exactly is a graphic novel? Goldsmith (2005) distinguishes graphic novels from comic books by stating that a graphic novel presents a story with a beginning and an end, “a story telling through sequential art.” This definition might not be very accurate given that some comic strips and comic books also fall into that description. An appropriate definition for graphic novels could be: a book-length fiction or non-fiction story that uses images in a sequence, and usually includes bubbles and text to support the story.

Graphic novels are regularly labeled as a genre, but this is a…

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