I don't read comics or graphic novels. I don't like them. I never enjoyed the Sunday funnies, even as a kid, and even after taking several Garfield anthologies out of the library. Garfield was boring (lasagne, kick Odie, repeat), and Charlie Brown was depressing. I liked the idea of a continuing story, a daily serial, but I soon realized that television was a more satisfying medium for this.
The final straw that precluded a relationship between me and comics was when I was a babysitter. M was about 5, and every day his mom saved him the newspaper so he could cut out the spiderman and paste it into a book. I thought this was fantastic, except that he would sometimes ask me to read it to him (he couldn't read yet, himself). He also had some proper comic books which he'd pick for a bedtime story. Comics are not meant to be read aloud. In fact, by their very nature, it's impossible to express the whole story in words, and so I felt dumb reading them aloud. Try it sometime. It sounds awful. In addition, my eyes weren't so good and I hadn't yet acquired glasses, so I had to squint at the tiny writing. So eventually I told M that I wouldn't read him any more comics because I was old and my eyes didn't work so well anymore.
More than that, I don't like fantasy. Superheroes and their POW! action makes me cringe. That's not to say I haven't tried it. My mom took (dragged) me to Batman (the first one), and I hated it. I only marginally liked The Incredibles. I saw Spiderman 2 a couple of years ago. I don't know why. I liked the part when he lost his powers and was walking through a park or something all happy and free. But other than that, the movie is a blur, and I'd have been happier staying home and saving my nine-fifty. I noticed that the movie progressed like a comic book. It felt like a comic book. Which, I guess, is good if you like comic books. But for me, it felt broken, abrupt, and boring. For all the action, there just isn't a lot going on in that movie.
I refused to read Black Hole because of its grotesque themes and because of everything in the above three paragraphs. So Meera who for some reason is always challenging me to try new things instead of stay wrapped up in my comfort zone, gave me Blankets. It's a memoir, I think, of the author's first love, with some Christianity thrown in. I liked it better than expected.
I didn't like the characters. They were self-indulgent and depressing, even when they were being selfless and humble. I didn't want to be their friends, let alone relate to them. It's interesting that these characters were so similar to the girl in Speak, and yet I liked her and hated them.
I didn't like the infusion of religion. I understand that it was a big part of his life at the time, but I didn't relate, and I don't think his faith was adequately communicated. Or maybe I just wasn't listening.
I understand and liked the use of drawings. In most cases, they communicated more than the words could. Mostly, I liked the way they were used to show how a situation conjured up memories or dreams or thoughts of something else. I also liked the silence they created with a lack of words.
So, ok, not all graphic novels are bad. But don't make me read anything about superheroes or science fiction.