Nick Hornby, novelist and screenwriter
Why we love graphic novels
How did you get into graphic novels?
I read more comics when I was a kid than books – Marvel as well as the Dandy and the Beano, so I already had a love for the form and the colours. But I hadn’t really thought about reading graphic novels until the beautiful 13th issue of McSweeney’s, and then I was introduced to the work of Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes and Charles Burns. They led me to Alison Bechdel and Marjane Satrapi.
What do you love about them?
What’s not to love? The best ones are ambitious, serious-minded, and beautiful to look at.
Do you have a favourite?
Bechdel’s Fun Home and Satrapi’s Persepolis in particular are two of the most spectacularly successful works of art of the past 20 years. They ask for much less of your time than some giant prize-winning novel that you may never finish, so the experience is actually as cinematic as it is literary: in and out in two hours, with your life enriched during the process, if you’re lucky. (And if you’re not, you don’t end up wanting to hurl the book across the room.)