Friday, March 26, 2010


By Kevin Hodgson
Staff Writer

Barbara Slate has created one of the best books on the topic of writing a graphic novel that I have come across and she does this magic in the form of a graphic text, so you get double the pleasure: enjoying Slate as an artist and writer, and as teacher of the experience.

Slate, who has worked in the comic field for Marvel and DC Comics, gives not only her life experiences as a writer and artist, but she patiently walks the reader through the process of writing a story through the graphic novel lens. Her tone here is encouraging and thoughtful, and you might want to consider putting a copy of this book in the hands of any of your students who imagine a career in the field. Add to the mix that she is a woman in a field still dominated by men and you come away amazed at what she has done here with YOU CAN DO A GRAPHIC NOVEL. What is important, too, is that her tips can be used for any kind of writing, not just comics and graphic novels.

Slate illustrated this book, as well as wrote it, and her art is warm and fun, and perfectly suited to what she writing about. She shows as well as tells, providing her artwork as examples of the craft of each chapter. She even provides some of her own examples from comic books to demonstrate how she herself used what she is telling the reader to consider.

Format: Paperback
Pages: 208
Publisher: Alpha
ISBN-13: 978-1592579556

As I mentioned above, YOU CAN DO A GRAPHIC NOVEL is a valuable tool for any writer working in any genre, although it is probably most effective with middle and high school students. The book is jam-packed with insights into publishing, and covers a lot of ground from brainstorming, character development, plot devices, and inking the pages. The language is very accessible.

I would highly recommend this book for a middle or high school classroom where writing is at the center of learning. While YOU CAN DO A GRAPHIC NOVEL would be a home run for a student interested in the graphic arts, it would also provide another experience into the world of professional writing.


Unknown said...

This is one of the best books on the topic of creating your own comic that I've ever seen! The best part is that not only is it great for beginners, but I've also learned a lot myself! I plan to use it when I teach my classes. I'm glad you took the time to feature it!!!

Kevin Hodgson said...

Thanks for the comment, Jerry. Like you, I think the book has a lot of value.