"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Oh no. I did it, again.

Unbelievably I have done it, again. I have purchased another graphic novel not appropriate for public schools.  Last year I had to send back Habibi by Craig Thompson. Even though it had delightful illustrations I felt that the graphic nature of the rape scene was too explicit. If a regular novel has a rape scene one can imagine the details but in a graphic novel those pictures are right there.

I vowed to do better, to really do my homework before I ordered another book that needs to be returned because it is inappropriate for a school library. Apparently my admonition to myself didn't last long because earlier this month I ordered the graphic novel Blue is the Warmest Color  by Julie Maroh in an effort to enhance my LGBT selections. Apparently I didn't spend a moment looking at reviews, however. When it arrived I set it aside to read before I processed it (luckily) and within the first twenty pages I had a strong suspicion that the book was too "graphic" for us. I read on and with each page I felt that sinking feeling that comes when one becomes aware they've wasted money. As I called up the reviews, after closing the book on the last page, the first word that jumped out at me was "erotica." Oh-oh.

Don't get me wrong I am not condemning the book, I am only condemning my actions, ordering a graphic novel without reading the reviews first. Blue is the Warmest Color is the story of a girl, Clementine, who is attracted to another girl, Emma. She doesn't think of herself as gay and has a really hard time accepting herself and the attraction feelings she has toward Emma. There is a lot of anti-homosexual messages coming at Clementine from her family, friends, and society. She is very unhappy and records her thoughts in a diary. At her death Emma is given the diary to read. That is how the story begins, placing the last part first.

Blue is the Warmest Color is translated from French. It was made into an award-winning movie by the same name.
As tragic as the story is, the execution is fantastic. The illustrations are marvelous and the plot is helpful, if for no other reason than to shed a light on how devastating hatred and bigotry can be on actual lives. Occasionally I was a bit lost when the illustrations were supposed to carry to story forward and somehow I managed to loose the thread, but I was always able to find my way back to the plot. This book belongs in a public library and should be made available to the broadest clientele as possible. Unfortunately, it is just too graphic for the public schools. I will be sending it back. *Sigh.


5 comments:

  1. Don't be too hard on yourself! This is the most challenging aspect of purchasing graphic novels. I try to read lots of reviews and if I'm still a bit uncertain, I take a trip to Barnes and Noble or even a public library to flip through the title, which I know isn't too feasible. Thankfully, my school is very open and haven't had any problems yet. *knocks on wood*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will certainly have to follow your advice and be more careful with my graphic novel selections in the future. Thanks for the input.

      Delete
  2. Wow, I had no idea that Blue is the Warmest Color was a book first! I really wanted to see the movie first but maybe I should read the graphic novel first.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, I've had this problem. Somehow seeing the pictures is much WORSE than reading the descriptions! Do you have the Game of Thrones graphic novel? It's not good either....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to know, Annette, I will avoid buying the Game of Thrones graphic novels. Whew. Close call!

      Delete

I love comments. Please let me know what you think by adding a comment.