The NYT Book Review Removes GN from Best Sellers
I was kind of heartbroken when I heard that The New York Times would no longer recognize comic books for their best sellers list.
Seriously?! Double take, what?!
For you kids out there; before the internet was the rage, The Book Review was like the go to, to gather the scoop on upcoming stories, authors and genres. I found out about different authors like Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Dean Koontz, Ray Bradbury, John Grisham; what the style their next book would be, highlights of their career, if the books were being scripted for a movie. The Book Review would even break down the sections so you can just read about Non Fiction, Fiction, Autobiography, even Oprah's Book Club selections. Working at a bookstore, then my community college library, this was the go to recommendation for your next reading material.
Here is my viewpoint: I think graphic novels should stay on the bestsellers list within New York Times. One case I think is relevant is Art Spiegelman's "Maus", the story is told in graphic novel format, but it is a biography about his father's experiences during the Holocaust. Even in illustrated format, it does not take away from the fact that this is a survivor's true story, in my opinion no different than Elie Weisel, Anne Frank or Schindler's List.
Another example, for me, to keep graphic novels on the Bestsellers list is Persepolis. Autobiographical graphic novel from Marjan Satrapi about her childhood into early adult years in Iran during an Islamic revolution. This graphic novel was turned into a stunning black and white animated film, which won Best Animated Feature at the 2007 Academy Awards. Being a graphic novel did not take away from the story that was told, it made the story more heart wrenching to read.
The New York Times was quoted to say "the discontinued lists did not reach or resonate with many readers. This change allows us to expand our coverage of these books in ways that we think will better several readers and attract new audiences to the genres."
Readers taste change every year, sales of books reflect that, even sales of comics and graphic novels have gone down, the industry reflects that as well. Within the response from The New York Times does not say this is a permanent removal, there is even talk of reversing that decision.
There are a lot deserving writers and artists out there that are coming out with good stories, in the format of graphic novels, and they should not be overlooked because of the format of the material.