Book Reviews

Book Review: You Can Do A Graphic Novel

I won’t be publishing a graphic novel any time soon, but something about Barbara Slate’s book jumped out at me from its dusty place on the library shelves. Perhaps it was the cover–done simply and attractively with a minimum of graphics and red lettering that stood out on a black background–or perhaps it was the thin size that made for easy reading on a limited schedule. Regardless, it was a great read, easily accessible to teens and adults alike.

The nine chapters comprising the book talk about the creative process, from generating story ideas and overcoming creative blocks to the meat and potatoes of graphic novels–plot lines, writing, layout, inking, coloring and lettering. There is also a fantastic section on networking.

There are many other gems hidden within, but Slate’s advice on getting started in Chapter 3 is crucial for artists-to-be, especially her magic “threes”: a story should be summarized in three sentences or less, the characters profiled in three bullets. This, at least for me, is the one takeaway that has stuck with me an hour after non-stop reading.

Alpha Books, $19.95 Trade Paperback, ISBN: 978-0937258057


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