Tuesday, July 01, 2008

New Release Spotlight: Visibility

Visibility by Sarah Neufeld
Illustrated by D. Meister

Comics and graphic novels are the fastest growing genre in literature. As a dedicated book reader, I felt that my literary experience was lacking because I’d never read a graphic novel. I’d picked them up in bookstores, but was always daunted by the intertwining of words and pictures. I may have read Moby-Dick, but I was intimidated by novels written for ten-year-olds.

Then I discovered a genre that is, for me, a stepping stone into the world of graphic novels—the illustrated novel.

Visibility, written by Sarah Neufeld and illustrated by D. Meister, is an illustrated novel for ages thirteen and up. And it was just the thing to ease me into the genre. An illustrated novel has illustrations suggestive of comic book illustrations, but the words and pictures are kept separate, making it easier for a newbie like me to read.

Visibility is about Natalie Irving, the teenage daughter of a widely unpopular superhero mother, Jadyn. While Natalie is boringly normal, her mother has the ability to become invisible. Natalie deals with the normal teenage issues of feeling invisible among her peers, and the certainty that her mother cannot possibly understand her. As the plot progresses, Natalie learns that she has more in common with her mother than she imagined, and she begins to understand the heavy responsibility of having super powers.

Though Visibility may not become a literary classic, it was an enjoyable read, and the illustrations added depth to the reading experience. Teenagers will relate to Natalie’s struggles with peers and parents. Adults can appreciate the new twist on the superhero story while they are introduced to the genre that is so popular with their children. I recommend Visibility for anyone looking for an introduction into the world of illustrated and graphic novels, as well as for anyone already familiar with the genre.

Book Review by Emilee Newman Bowles, guest reviewer

ISBN: 978-0-9801419-0-0
Publisher: Bowler Hat Comics
Pub Date: June 2008
Paperback: $15.00

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I hope it gets more people to pick up the book; it really is a great read.

    It's interesting to note (at least, it's interesting to me), that in Japan these types of books are called light novels. Sarah has spent time in Japan, and the influence of Japanese culture can be seen throughout the book.