Graphic Novel Review 92/365: A Discussion About Color

Hey, all!

I’m currently reading a lengthy graphic novel that I was hoping to review for today’s blog, but as everything gets in the way, I did not finish the book today, and I did not want to rush out a review of an amazing book.  That review will be tomorrow.  It’s about a dog…that’s your hint!

With that said, and given this extra bonus review time, I want to tell you about an interesting experience that I had in my classroom today.  This blog post will not be a normal book review per say, but it will review an aspect of a book…I guess, so there’s that.

The graphic novel students are currently reading Udon Publishing’s Manga Classics.  I will be reviewing a good chunk of these books next week, discussing what I have been doing with them in the classroom, but today, as I was recording a podcast on these titles with five students, I came to an interesting conclusion: kids do not mind black & white graphic novels.

During our discussion, I asked the students if they thought that black & white construction of the Manga Classics took away from their reading of the book or their interest level.  I assumed that at least three-four of them would have said that they wanted color.  Heck, I want color.  But I was wrong.  Only one girl of the five kids said that the book(s) that they had read would have been better in color.  I was stunned, but then they explained why…

The biggest consensus was that color would take away from the story.  The black & white allows readers to focus on character and specific panels without being distracted by graphic weight caused by color on different parts of the page(s).  The students also mentioned that the black & white was appropriate since most Manga is traditionally in black & white.  But the coolest observation was that the black & white allows the reader to use their imagination to fill in the color on the page, noting that graphic novels usually take away the ability to visualize a normal text, but a black & white graphic novel allows for the images to help with the text understanding while offering readers an opportunity to use their imaginations to fill in color schemes.  I must say…I was astounded by the students’ observations.  It was a cool period.

I’ll excited to be back tomorrow with a review of an emotionally driven title, but my inability to finish that book today, allowed me to share this cool experience from my 5th period with you!

Happy reading!


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