Now Read This!: A Good Divorce Book Is Hard to Find

Last month I revisited my alma mater, Smith College in Northampton, Mass., to moderate a panel called “Empowering Young People Through Stories.” I know, I know: Where’s the AARP angle? Well, afterward I was approached by a friendly blonde who introduced herself as “Cindy, Class of 1982.” That made her 52, by my reckoning. We started talking books, naturally enough, and it turns out that Cynthia Copeland, as she is known professionally, has written 40 of the things, including Really Important Stuff My …

Innovative Design a Foundation of Ware’s ‘Building Stories’

The first, and most important, question confronting someone choosing to write about Chris Ware’s graphic novel Building Stories is where to begin. Do you start with the powerful narrative or its unusual physical and artistic composition or the critical acclaim that may appear over the top until you’ve spent time immersed in this brilliant work? Since architecture provides much of the framework for Building Stories let’s begin with the novel’s physical and artistic composition. It comes in 14 parts housed in a …

Graphic Novels: More than Capes and Cowls

Browsing my local bookstore last weekend, I stumbled across three volumes in Neil Gaiman’s groundbreaking Sandman series. “Do you have other graphic novels?” I asked the nearest clerk. “Graphic novels?” She looked perplexed. “Yeah,” I said, holding up a Gaiman cover. “Like these?” “Oh.” More confusion. “I thought those were comic books.” My point exactly. Tell an adult story via text and sequential art, and chances are most people will see it as a comic book on steroids. But a …