How a good book found me

Strangers in ParadiseThe graphic novel adoration continues.

I just read the first volume of Strangers in Paradise. It’s really very good and you should get it. Or borrow mine.

Warning: extremely geeky sidenote follows.

How I came by this book is a little example of Long Tail economics at work.

A friend I know from years back now lives in Denmark. She found this blog via a link from my MySpace page. Reading my posting about graphic novels, she made a recommendation and I bought the book from Amazon – there’s no way it would be in my local Waterstone’s. Now I’m blogging about it and maybe someone I know will read the book too because they (maybe) trust my opinion.

Let’s face it, how else would someone who doesn’t resemble The Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons ever end up coming across something like this?

And hey presto, via the magic of the information superhighway, filters and aggregators, a niche product finds its customer.

Geek-talk over.

In praise of the graphic novel

bovery.jpgHave you ever read a graphic novel? Don’t blush, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about – not graphic in that sense but like a grown-ups’ comic book. There are some really amazing ones and I should know. I’ve read two and therefore count myself a world authority.

Contrary to popular assumption, neither was about crazed sci-fi worlds or fantasy warlords. Fun Home is a funny-but-sad family memoir and Gemma Bovery is a dramatic whodunnit but also a really wry take on Brits abroad. Both have great drawings that make me wish I too could control a pencil. Both are also deeply interwoven with literary references and allusions – almost like the authors are eager to show their credentials as “proper” writers. But, no need to apologise for the format. It’s great. Try one.