Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Go, Go Graphic Novel!

In further tales of ALA, BEA buzz, the belle of the ball seems to be David Small's graphic novel, Stitches.
I wasn't a comic book kid, though I do have fond memories of perusing my piano teacher's children's cast-off stacks of X-Men while I was waiting for my mom to pick me up. So when it comes to comics and graphic novels I feel like a newbie trying to sneak into a venerated and esoteric society.
I stumbled into the land of graphic novels by way of loyalty to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. When Joss Whedon announced the series would continue in Season 8 with Dark Horse Comics, I'd signed up months before the first issue was out.

And I loved the new format instantly. Graphic novels are an incredible medium of communication. The monumental devotion that fans of Neil Gaiman's Sandman display are enough of a testimony to the depth and strength of writing and worlds built by creators of the graphic medium.

With the growing interest in graphic novels, publishers and marketers alike are bringing more and more of the medium to an ever-growing audience.

There's even a Twilight graphic novel in the works.

My question then becomes how does one go from writer to writer of graphic novels/manga? One of my favorite YA authors, Melissa Marr, has manga in the works that complement her novels.

My only brush with this medium is the comic I made for my husband's birthday last year. And while I'm still blushingly proud of the creation, it hardly makes me a graphic novelist.

Who is the keeper of the bridge between novelists and graphic novelists? How does one cross over, or preferably, live a writing life on both sides?


  1. Nice post and good questions! I was a comics kid, and now that I'm a (slightly) grown-up writer, I would dearly love to cross that bridge. While inability to draw much beyond the stick figure has heretofore stopped me, I have been thinking of finding an artists to collaborate with to adapt one of my short stories, and then distributing it at Zinefest here in SF. It's never too late, right...?

  2. Thanks, Chris! Maybe I'll have to scratch out some drawings to accompany the novel and see what happpens...