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DiscussionJan 5, 2016 8:00 am CT

Breakfast Topic: Novels or Graphic Novels?

My Christmas presents this year were pretty much all books — which is exactly what I wanted — surrounding various video game series I’ve been enjoying playing. Since the only World of Warcraft stuff I’m missing in my collection are atlases that are slightly on the obscure end of hunting things down, my relatives settled with nabbing a handful of Mass Effect novels and graphic novels. I burned through the graphic novels in the course of an evening, and the actual novels are taking a little longer, which got me thinking about novels, graphic novels, and which format I like more.

On the one hand, graphic novels are a visual treat right along with the story — I love good artwork, and I love how a single panel or two, even without dialogue, can cover several pages worth of establishing the setting in a traditional novel. On the other, stories in graphic novels are often pretty compact, fast paced and kind of feel like they’re over with before they’ve even begun. I love Warcraft‘s graphic novels — Curse of the Worgen is one of my favorites — because they introduce characters and explain situations that we don’t necessarily see in the game itself. But I find myself wishing more often than not that they were longer.

And it feels like you can’t quite get into the same amount of depth and character development in a graphic novel as you can with a traditional novel. You can illustrate a character’s expression, but you can’t really get into their head and see what they’re thinking…not unless you want to cover up all that beautiful artwork with a lot of text. In the end, I think both styles have their merits and flaws, and I’ll happily collect both because hey, I can always use new stuff for my bookshelf. What about you guys? Do you prefer graphic novels and comics, or would you rather have a traditional novel to read? Do you like the short stories Blizzard releases on their website, or do you think the comics are more interesting? And while we’re at it, do you like your novels, comics, and graphic novels in print, or do you prefer digital editions you can read on a tablet, phone or PC?

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