HOW TO READ A GRAPHIC NOVEL A Guide What is a graphic novel? Sometimes referred to as a comic book, a graphic novel is a sequential, comic-style narrative in book form. It is a medium, not a genre. Many different genres exist within the graphic novel realm. Graphic novels can be analyzed for both their text and their images. How do I read this? Like any other text, graphic novels are read from left to right, top to bottom. What elements do graphic novels contain? Panels—squares or rectangles that contain a single scene. Gutters—space between panels. Dialogue Balloons—these contain conversations between characters. Thought Balloons—these contain the thoughts of a single character. Captions—these contain information about a scene or a character. Sound Effects—these are visual sound cues (i.e. whap, pow, boom, zip) Panels Panels— squares or rectangles that contain a single scene. Gutters Space between panels. Dialogue Balloons Contain conversations between characters. Dialogue Balloons Dialogue balloons are read left to right, top to bottom. Thought Balloons Contain the thoughts of a single character. Captions Contain information about a scene or a character. Sound Effects visual sound cues (i.e. whap, pow, boom, zip) More cool things… Transitions Graphic novels transition from panel to panel and page to page in order to: Slow time Emphasize an action sequence Utilize juxtaposition for emphasis and meaning Perspective Graphic novels utilize the same terms as film and photography, such as: Close-up, medium-shot, long-shot Tilt-up, tilt-down Panning and tracking Make your own! Now that you are an expert on graphic novels, make your own comic page. In comic form, tell the story of your morning routine before school. Utilize as many graphic novel elements discussed as possible.