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you have to know what you want to say, and find the best way of saying it

persepolis1.jpgi’m late to the persepolis party, apparently. fortunately, that does not take away from my enjoyment or appreciation. beth sent the books my way for my bday. i am absolutely loving them. here’s a cool snippet in marjane starapi’s words about why she chose to tell her story in the form of a graphic novel.

People always ask me, “Why didn’t you write a book?” But that’s what Persepolis is. To me, a book is pages related to something that has a cover. Graphic novels are not traditional literature, but that does not mean they are second-rate. Images are a way of writing. When you have the talent to be able to write and to draw it seems a shame to choose one. I think it’s better to do both.

We learn about the world through images all the time. In the cinema we do it, but to make a film you need sponsors and money and 10,000 people to work with you. With a graphic novel, all you need is yourself and your editor.

Of course, you have to have a very visual vision of the world. You have to perceive life with images otherwise it doesn’t work. Some artists are more into sound; they make music. The point is that you have to know what you want to say, and find the best way of saying it. It’s hard to say how Persepolis evolved once I started writing. I had to learn how to write it as a graphic novel by doing.

P.S.: It’s a movie now too.

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  • sara

    I have been wanting to read those books for a long time now. The only other graphic novels I have read were Maus, and that was for a class in college (the anthropology of the holocaust–SUPER interesting) just before we met the author. I loved them and was instantly amazed by how quickly I forgot that they were graphic but was simply immersed in the narrative. But for some reason I still hesitate about picking up a graphic novel like that. Please share your thoughts when you’re done!

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