13

Malice (2009) was the first hybrid graphic novel I read, though I've seen more than one other since.

By "hybrid graphic novel," I mean a book that contains passages of both traditional, unillustrated text, as well as graphic passages, with captioned panels of images.

I doubt that Chris Wooding was the first to write a novel in this fashion. Who wrote the first hybrid graphic novel?

This interests me because so many like to consider comics and prose literature to be two entirely different things (and, sadly, often assign value to "real literature" only). Hybrid graphic novels, to my mind, are a kind of literary Third Stream. And for me, personally, Malice was a bridge of sorts into the world of comics (and away from the aforementioned literary snobbery).

So I'd like to know who came up with the idea, and also try to read the first of these hybrids, to get better acquainted with these kinds of books.

6
  • 1
    I was uncertain about (creating and) using an author tag for Chris Wooding. However, this question really isn't about his works, so I left it out. – Shokhet May 2 '17 at 16:28
  • 1
    I've seen forewordreviews.com/articles/article/…, but none of those predate 2009. I'm having difficulty finding relevant search results. – Shokhet May 2 '17 at 16:31
  • Thanks for the tag, @Mithrandir. Note that question titles don't need to contain actual questions if they're sufficiently clear, but I don't mind your new title. – Shokhet May 2 '17 at 17:07
  • Would half text, half (pure) drawing qualify? ericdenoorman.nl/images/2394.jpg – Bookeater May 3 '17 at 12:02
  • 1
    The author of the 2007 book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick, describes it as "not exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things." Does it count? I believe it was sui generis when it was published. – Peter Shor Aug 17 '18 at 16:39
1

Peter Shor, in a comment, suggests The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007).

The author, Brian Selznick, describes it as 'not exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things.' Does it count? I believe it was sui generis when it was published.

I can give a slightly awkward example a few years earlier than that, with the chapter-book editions of the W.I.T.C.H. manga series, beginning with The Power of Five (2004). W.I.T.C.H. started life as a straightforward manga comic, but then when it became a success, the publishers decided that they'd also release adaptations of the comics as chapter books. Each book is mainly a story told in writing in the usual way, and then, at the climax of the adventure, it switches to several pages in comic format, taken from the original manga. Odd history, but, whatever the reason, it did end up being a book that was part text and part comic.

It seems surprising to me if nobody had ever done something of that kind much earlier than 2004, though. Maybe somebody else can beat my record.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.