Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Comics Confidential: Thirteen Graphic Novelists Talk Story, Craft, and Life Outside the Box

Candlewick Press 2016. 176 pages
First published: 2016
ISBN: 9780763659387 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 741.5
Book type: Anthology

Text Elements:

multimodal, panel arrangement

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

After a Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Art Spiegelman’s Maus, a family memoir about surviving the Holocaust and in comic format, the form was taken more seriously. Many of the 13 graphic novelists interviewed for this compendium were thus inspired to reconsider their own work and are now confident in their ability to tell all kinds of stories through the medium formerly dominated by Marvel and its superheroes.

The wide range of the interviewed artists’ styles is highlighted by their original comics. Each artist was asked to draw a comic on the theme of the city for this book. The results are zany, sweet, cheerful, haunting. In Catia Chen’s comic, “Water,” a poem by Michael Belcher, is illustrated by evocative drawings of people and tree spirits emerging from a black-and-white haze. In Geoffrey Hayes’ comic, a cartoon bear dreams of escaping the city and moving to the quiet of the countryside.

In the interviews, the artists were asked nearly identical questions, but their answers are anything but formulaic. The back stories behind their beloved and critically-acclaimed graphic novels are often surprising. They describe their daily routines and aspirations: “I like being part of a global storytelling community,” says Gene Luen Yang. “Collectively, stories are a kind of giant conversation about what it means to be human.”

  •  

    Profiles of the early careers of graphic novelists provide insight into the work they produce. Begin by discussing the works of authors that might be familiar, such as those of Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) or Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet series).

  •  In small groups, discuss the life and work of a favourite graphic novelist. What effect does their work have on the reader?
  •  

    Research the graphic novels of one of the featured artists. After reading and discussing their work in small groups, make connections between that author's early life and career, and their work. Share ideas with peers.

  • To adopt effective work methods
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Visual Arts