I am a complete bookworm. I picked up my first novel, C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, when I was 7 years old and haven’t stopped reading since. I read a little of everything; fiction, nonfiction, biography, historical, erotic, philosophy and the list goes on. In all the reading I’ve done over the years I have never once picked up and read a full graphic novel. Having two boys I spend many hours discussing superheros and the merits of which faction of superheros are more powerful, DC Comics or Marvel Comics. I also spend many afternoons browsing the shelves of our local comic book store, Bungee’s Comics. On our last visit I decided I was going to dive in and buy one. I, however, wasn’t sure which one to even begin with. There are so many! What I knew I wanted was something that had a kick ass female hero.
Enter my friend Stacey Levin and my brother Jason Vaughn. They are the dynamic duo who write a comic review blog for MeltDown Comics, probably one of the most famous comic book stores in the country located on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, Ca. They told me to find Batwoman Elegy by Greg Rucka.
I am so happy I did.
I’m almost positive I’ve either fallen in love with, or want to be Batwoman. At the very least I want a pair of those knee high red combat boots! I did a double take when I saw the introduction was by Rachel Maddow, host of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show. I am a fan and watch her show often, but it seemed odd that a news show host would be doing the introduction to a graphic novel. When first reading her introduction I wasn’t exactly sure what she was alluding to. However, after reading the novel I understand the bravery and realism she speaks about. I suggest reading the book and then reading her introduction. She is spot on.
Besides the fact that she has flaming red hair (like someone I know), Batwoman Elegy has an amazing story-line, exhilarating action and a father-daughter scenario that will bring a tear to your eye. I won’t give out any spoilers but there is a cliff hanging surprise ending. The story is wound within a back and forth, present, past then back to present way that kept me flipping pages so fast I really didn’t want it to end.
I’ve never really thought about the term “Graphic Novel” for what it really meant until I opened this book. J. H. Williams III, the artist, has opened my eyes to an entirely different respect for the art form of graphic art. Each page is filled with eye popping, dazzling dramatic intensity and beauty. I almost want to rip out a few pages to frame them, but I don’t want to destroy my book.
If you are like me, new to this genre, I suggest you start with Batwoman Elegy. I am completely hooked and waiting anxiously for the next edition. I am also sure that if they want to make this into a major motion picture I would be perfect for the part. My agent is waiting for the call!