Now you see it

Cartoon novels are popular with “tweens” (8- to 12-year-olds), reports the Christian Science Monitor.

Young children are snapping up everything from superhero compilations and fantasy stories to adaptations of classics such as “Moby Dick.” Modern books including the “Goosebumps” and “The Baby-sitters Club” series are getting graphic makeovers, too.

. . . Graphic novels that follow the Japanese art form of manga – featuring characters with wide-open eyes – are especially popular among girls who like stories about cats and princesses. Other subjects include teenage life and biographies of “American heroes,” including Amelia Earhart.

My niece is a huge manga fan; my nephew is studying Japanese in college because of his interest in anime.

Adults are reading graphic novels too. The story mentions Maus (the first book came out in 1986), which may represent a turning point in graphic novels.

Art Spiegelman’s 1992 “Maus: A Survivor’s Tale,” which won a Pulitzer Prize for its depiction of how the author’s father survived the Nazi occupation of Europe. In black-and-white panels, with Nazis depicted as cats and Jews as mice, Spiegelman turned his father’s experiences into a gripping, sensitive story.

The 9/11 Commission report is coming out next week in graphic form, the Monitor adds.

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