Yeah, yeah, I know they’re not exactly new. But as a lifetime opponent of comic books, I was in no hurry to snuggle up to this genre. All those nonsensical premises. All that ridiculous dialogue. I had been told that graphic novels were different, but were they? I was too suspicious to find out for sure.
No doubt I would have continued down the path of words-only snobbery had it not been for a lazy weekend getaway and the recommendation of my friend Alice, a woman of excellent and eclectic taste. Having finally finished Three Cups of Tea (review forthcoming), and being so pathetically indolent as to require a book with pictures, I cracked open Alice’s copy of Tamara Drewe by Posy Simmonds.
Tamara Drewe takes place, seemingly, in my wildest dreams: a writer’s retreat in the English countryside, a drowsy little collection of cottages where members of the most self-indulgent profession can work in solitude, their every need met. But tensions brew amongst the proprietors and writers-in-residence—affairs, obsessions, and artistic differences that shatter the fragile peace and privacy sought by all.
The writing here is real—nothing like the excessive bluster and bolding so beloved to the comic book genre. And the art is simple but evocative. I truly enjoyed the interplay between words and images, the way the art enhances and deepens the text. I don’t see myself reading a ton of graphic novels in the future, but I would certainly reserve a spot in my library for other books of this ilk. Just call me a late adopter.