Image via The Graphic Mag.
Graphic novels have gotten a bad rap in the past. Because so much of the content appears in picture form, they’ve been dismissed as “comic books” and consequently treated as unworthy, thoughtless, and juvenile forms of literature. Now librarians know that graphic novels, like any other form or genre, can be intelligent and thoughtful when done well. (I’ve blogged about this in the past.)
But that’s not the end of the hard struggle for graphic novels.
This edgy form of fiction often deals with some pretty heavy subject matter, which can involve violence, sexuality, or harsh language. And not everybody wants to find that at their local library. You’d think they could just press on and look for something more suited to their tastes, but apparently not: the ALA has released a list of the top ten graphic novels to be challenged, banned, or censored in American schools and libraries.
Image via Manga Worth Reading
I’ve been staying with a friend for the past week or so, which is why I haven’t been updating very frequently. I’ve also got a cold that’s been keeping me offline. But those factors combined to create the circumstances under which I picked up the opening volume of Chobits. It would be my fist manga by Clamp, as far as I can recall, though a dear friend got me reading some other serials a few years ago.
For the uninitiated, a category which included me until about twenty-seven hours ago, Chobits is about a world where the latest technological gadget is the persocom: a computer designed to look and act like a pretty girl while performing all the functions of a computer. When financially-strapped student Hideki finds a persocom in the trash, he decides to bring her home – after all, it’s the only persocom he’ll be able to afford, even if she does seem like she might be fairly damaged. But before long, he starts to suspect that, hiding behind some heavy encryption and an innocently beautiful exterior, she’s one of the most sophisticated persocoms ever created. Which begs the question: why was she in the trash?