acebauer (acebauer) wrote,

Are graphic novels for kids? Part 4

- Saying that a novel is accessible to teens isn’t the same as saying that it was written for teens.

- I think that’s a distinction without a difference.

- Lots of books are written for teens.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants cover

Mister Monday cover

Gossip Girls cover

- Yes.

- And they’re marketed that way.

- True, too.

- And you’re telling me they’re not for teens?

- Oh yes. They are. But lots of books for teens weren’t written with them in mind.

- Like?

- Slaughterhouse-Five. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The Lord of the Rings.

- So? Kids like to read up. They were still books for adults.

- That’s where I disagree.

- They weren’t marketed to adults?

- Yes, they were. But kids picked them up, too. And identified with them. And they became kids’ books, too.

- But they were adult books first.

- They were books first, marketed for adults. They were written to be books. Afterward, they were marketed. And when the publishers and librarians realized that kids were reading them, too, they were shelved in the kids’ sections as well.

- But teen books. . .

- Are books. They share certain common factors:  more action, faster pace, younger protagonists. They get to the point quicker. Many books initially marketed for adults share those same characteristics.

- And kids find them.

- Exactly. Just because the marketers didn’t recognize that the books were for kids as well as adults, doesn’t mean that they weren’t for kids all along.

- But the writer. . .

- The writer has no say in this. Readers get to decide what they like to read. If the writer didn’t intend an age group to identify with the work, but those readers do anyway, tough luck.

- So graphic novels intended for adults that teen like?

- They are teen graphic novels. Adults may like them, too. May even like them more. But if teens like them, they like them. They’re in the readership. That’s who the graphic novel resonates with.

- Doesn’t matter what the writer, or illustrator, or publisher, or librarian says?

- Nope.

Tags: comics

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