You Can Do a Graphic Novel, by Barbara Slate outlines how to tell a story in the simplest terms. Despite its title, however, this book could actually be used as a primer on how to write any story, not just a graphic novel. If you’ve ever taken a high school literature course, then this book would probably be beneath your level. However, if you have a middle-school child who is interested in writing, then this would appeal to him. The book outlines how to write a basic story, how to develop characters, how to combat writer’s block and many other things that any prospective writer should learn. It explains each item in simple enough terms for any age to understand and would help your child develop his early writing and artistic skills. For someone who has more experience with graphic novels, some of this information may be common knowledge (such as what a thought cloud looks like).
Most chapters deal with how to improve story structure or characters. I would have liked more information about the literary differences between a printed novel and a graphic one, which are two completely different modes of artistic expression. Also, as a fan of graphic novels, I wish the author had referenced other works in addition to her own. That said, this book is aimed toward a younger audience so it shouldn’t be faulted for its simplicity. As a starting point, it can help kids to generate ideas and learn how to structure their own graphic novel!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara Slate has done it all. Her first character, Ms. Liz, appeared on millions of greeting cards, in a regular comic strip for Cosmopolitan magazine, as a spokesperson for Dupont’s Lycra and as the star in a series of animated segments on NBC’s Today Show. Her big break in comics came when she created Angel Love for DC Comics. From there, she created, wrote and drew Yuppies from Hell, and Sweet XVI for Marvel and put her own spin on the Disney classics Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Archie’s Betty and Veronica, and Mattel’s Barbie. Barbara’s art has been exhibited in many galleries and reviewed by The New York Times. She is profiled in the seminal work A Century of Women Cartoonists. Stan Lee, Chairman, POW! Entertainment and Chairman Emeritus, Marvel Entertainment, calls Barbara “titanically talented.” She is currently busy being a mom, doing a graphic novel titled, I Got Married and Other Mistakes, and teaching. Her website is barbaraslate.com.
One lucky person will win a copy of You Can Do a Graphic Novel, by Barbara Slate. To enter, visit the author’s website at http://barbaraslate.com, and then leave a comment on this post with something you learned on the site. You must do this to enter the giveaway.
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CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner, esluka!
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Alpha Books for providing product samples for this review and giveaway. The reviewer was not compensated for this review in any way and all opinions are 100% those of the reviewer. Amazon affiliate links belong to the blog owner.