An aspiring young creator learns the fundamentals of visual storytelling from three comic book mentors in this charming illustrated tale—a graphic novel that teaches you how to turn your stories into comics!
Acclaimed illustrator and graphic novelist Mark Crilley returns with a new approach to learning the essential elements of making comics. His easy-to-follow instruction about comic book art, design, and storytelling provides aspiring creators a one-of-a-kind how-to experience.
In The Comic Book Lesson, you’ll meet Emily—an enthusiastic young comics fan who has a story she needs to tell. On her quest to turn that story into a comic book, Emily meets three helpful mentors who share their knowledge. Trudy, a high school student who works at the local comics shop, teaches Emily how to create expressive characters and how art can convey action and suspense. Madeline, a self-published manga artist, teaches Emily how to use panel composition and layout to tell a story visually and how to develop a comic from script to sketch to finished pages. Sophie, a professional graphic novelist, guides Emily through fine-tuning the details of dialogue, sequence, and pacing to lead readers through the story.
Page by page, you’ll discover more about the events that drive Emily to create her comic book as her mentors teach her (and you!) about the fundamentals of visual narrative and comic book art. Each lesson builds on the previous one, guiding you through the steps of planning and creating your comic, with accompanying exercises you can try for yourself. Are you ready to start your comic book lesson today?
Crilley (Mastering Manga) returns with an accessible but simplistic guide for readers keen on making their own comics. Instead of a textbook format, Crilley disguises his teachings through a narrative focused on Emily, a naive young teen eager to bring her pet detective story to life. While looking for a book that will show her "how to make comics" she finds Trudy, who is "working on a comic book project" herself. She offers to help Emily get started and quickly introduces her to Madeline, an outgoing zinester—or as Trudy puts it, "the real deal." Between these two expert figures, Emily and therefore the reader are provided lessons on paneling, character designs, and scripting. However, the plot lacks much propulsion aside from being a vehicle for cartooning basics. Crilley's art style has a YA feel, and employs some clever devices, such as leaving his sketch layer under the panels to hint at how students of the volume could letter and draft objects in their own projects. But compared to exemplar comics explainers such as Scott McCloud's Making Comics or Lynda Barry's Syllabus, this feels more like a companion or junior version. It's best for younger readers wanting to dip their toes into comics creations.