Delving Head-First into Wonder


Often times readers dismiss graphic novels as too unrealistic to posses literary merit. That would be a mistake, argues Stefan A. Slater at The Airship, because reality isn’t inherently part of good story telling. Plenty of other fictional forms flaunt the rules of the naturalistic universe while retaining literary value, and graphic novels often contain strong narratives confronting contemporary issues:

A good story is meant to transport. When a wildly imaginative graphic novel takes a reader somewhere new and exciting, and he/she become invested in the setting, the characters and their feelings, I consider that to be a good story. By delving into fantasy and sci-fi elements that are often viewed as ridiculous, an author challenges us to delve head-first into wonder. Unrealistic storylines offer up the opportunity to question reality.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →