I’ve been really into Graphic Novels lately because I discussed a project with some of my close friends and they thought it was brilliant. I decided to work on a graphic novel (to add to my other millions of projects — I intend to complete something before I’m 30 so have patience with me) because I love to draw and I might consider having a gallery show out of it. This also means that I also get to write – Joy! The novel will have 14-15 short stories, the great part is that they are quite humorous to tell (I just hope they translate well with drawings).
I really enjoy drawing (the following image is a pen drawing from the Design Lady NYC fan page ) and I enjoy telling stories so I’m pretty excited. The only thing I will dread is writing everything — it’s difficult enough to blog.
By the way, don’t you just love the internet? I searched for How to make a graphic novel and these two links came up:
1. How to Make a Graphic Novel on EHow
2. How to Create a Graphic Novel on WikiHow
However, books aren’t a bad idea either.
I found a document by Ruth McNally Barshaw, author of the Ellie McDoodle books – www.ruthexpress.com
1. Write a story. For best results it should be a really good story, revised and honed until it’s great. Script form is best. Pretend you’re writing a movie. Think about stage directions and character movements.
2. Create character sheets so you know what the characters look like from all sides. Keep them consistent from page to page (a sure sign of professionalism).
3. Decide on the look of your graphic novel. This is entirely up to you. Realistic – cartoony – abstract – superhero – manga – there are a million styles. Do what you love, and what’s easy for you to do, since a GN is a huge undertaking and you want to still be interested in it when you’re in the middle of it.
4. The lettering: Use a nice font on the computer or learn to hand letter. Legibility is what matters most. Decorative fonts are hard to read.
5. The layouts: Use variety to your advantage (if the tone is supposed to be boring, then it’s ok to use boring art). Dynamic camera angles keep the reader wanting to see more.
6. Drawing skills: Even the pros still take art lessons sometimes. Push yourself to do your best. Push yourself to always improve, even if you’re already great. Draw from life. Draw people, animals, plants, everyday things. Draw scenery. Try to take things down to their essence using the fewest number of lines possible.
7. Roughs: Draw in pencil to start. Don’t ink until your book is completely done and you’ve thought about revisions.
8. Intended audience: Your audience is your first concern. Make sure they understand what you’re saying.
9. The hook: The thing that reaches out and grabs the audience. Hook them early and give the audience a reason to read beyond the first page – and a reason to keep turning the pages.
10. Pacing: Give the appropriate amount of time to what needs to be said or accomplished. Example: Person is running to the store. Do you show every frame in a series of panels? Do you show him running in one panel? Do you just use narration and no picture? It depends on how important the action is to the story.
11. Action: If you can show it in pictures, don’t say it in the words.
Keep your characters moving, keep the plot moving forward.
Once you have all that mastered, try this:
Spice it up with quirky stuff.
Use fun words and lots of expression in the characters’ faces.
Use metaphors and similies and symbolism.
Be yourself. Do what only you can do.
Play with contrast. On a white field, the eye is drawn first to black, and vice versa.
Repeated motifs or themes or callbacks are fun for the audience to notice and remember.
I’m currently reading AYA of Yop City by Marguerite Abouet illustrated by Clement Oubrerie. I read the first volume and decided to check out the other two.
(images from Amazon.com)
This is the first one that I read.
This is the final version.
What Graphic Novels are you into?
Have you ever created a graphic novel?