Win a Copy of You Can Do a Graphic Novel

Barbara Slate, writer for Archie Comics and Marvel’s Barbie comics and creator of the mid-80s Angel Love, has written You Can Do a Graphic Novel, an inspirational volume to encourage comic creation. The material came out of her newspaper column of the same name and the workshops she’s held with teenagers.

Although well-illustrated, this isn’t a comic format book. Instead, it’s like having a really peppy instructor hanging over your shoulder, telling you that you, yes, you can come up with a story in pictures. Some pages are nothing but a significant sentence, such as “Nobody likes a boring story,” in centered large text. Other images are done in Slate’s flat, primitive style, similarly conveying the message that if she can do this, anyone can. But you shouldn’t be misled by her happy chat and simple drawings; there are some solid tips here, based on real experience.

Since Slate believes that the creative process “is really about getting to know yourself,” at times, the book becomes almost a self-help volume. That may be what readers need, in amongst the solid bits of artistic advice and work tricks: encouragement. The volume covers a lot more content than I expected, touching on all aspects of making comics.

Thanks to the publisher, I have a copy to give away to a lucky reader in this contest. To enter for your chance to win, post a comment here with your idea for a graphic novel you’d like to see. Winner will be picked randomly from all entries on Wednesday, June 1. Tell your friends!

(U.S. and Canada addresses only. Winners will be emailed to confirm email address. If email is not answered within 24 hours or a valid email address is not provided, a replacement winner will be selected. Your email won’t be used for any other purpose.)

10 Responses to “Win a Copy of You Can Do a Graphic Novel”

  1. Jeff Scronce Says:

    I want to write a story about the clone of a dead mad scientist who just wants to live his own life with his own identity. In order to live a normal life, he has to get secret agents, superheroes and fellow-clones off his back and out of his life.

  2. James Schee Says:

    I want to do a romance comic. A hard working young guy who never allowed himself any dreams, falls in love with a popular girl who has an eidetic memory and always found things too easy. When they both meet at college they don’t know what they’ve found in each other. They’ll have to overcome some obstacles to find their way, and they have to hurry as one is bound for an overseas stay at the end of the semester….

  3. paulb Says:

    I’d love to see a graphic novel based on Captain Mad Jack. I’m really not sure why one doesn’t exist yet.

  4. Kat Kan Says:

    My husband’s family has many good stories (his line goes back to legendary times in Japan, to 21 B.C.). However, the story I most want to tell is about his maternal grandparents – Babachan was one of the last picture brides allowed into the U.S., and Jichan was one of the first sugar cane workers to go on strike against the plantation owners. (We are the new Babachan and Jichan to our first grandson, and I want him to know our family’s great stories.)

  5. David Oakes Says:

    Saving the world from Zombies – with Math!

  6. William George Says:

    I want to see me complete one.

    Oh wait. That’s unfairly good. Luckily I live in Japan and am ineligible for this.

  7. John Platt Says:

    I’d like to do a journalistic/informational graphic novel (maybe for kids) about environmental issues.

  8. DeBT Says:

    This may take awhile to explain, so bear with me…

    I want to do a quasi-historical story about the rise of popularity of Anime from 1990 to 2000 when it was just beginning to become popular. Only, there’s this Government organization that’s devoted to stopping the spread of Anime, upon the fear that it’ll warp the minds of American children due to its portrayal of violence and sex. The visual selling point is that all the Anime characters are caricatured as Pokemon animals. (Testuo as Mewtwo, Rayquazza as Shenron [the Dragonball Dragon], Golgo 13 as Marowak, Black Jack as Chansey, etc)

    The organization finds “Otakus” who’ve been corrupted by these Animes, and suck their influence into concealment boxes that look suspuciously like Ghostbusters traps. Througout the years, the boxes become more sophisicated and smaller, becoming more oval, then sphere-shaped. Once exposed to these boxes, these happy-go-lucky teens revert back to being sulking rebelious teens, just as nature intended.

    This comic would follow the decline and fall of the organization when, after a major event known only as the “Akira incident” released all their trapped influences who escaped in rays of light from their secure storage. This would later be known as the “Anime Boom”.

    The organization’s existence is also under threat from their shadow funders known only as the Rabbit & the Mouse, who’re becoming increasingly skeptical about spending money on an organization that’s becoming increasingly redundant. They don’t see why they should spend so much keeping these agents afloat. After all, it’s not like Anime would ever become more popular than Warner Bros. & Disney cartoons, right?

    Around 1997, when Pokemon starts to get popular and the organization is struggling to stay alive, the fans who’d been fighting for Anime rights become concerned about the sudden popularity of the francise, and bemoan that people will only think of Pokemon as the only Anime that exists.

    There’s lots more I haven’t included, but I’ve been talking long enough.

  9. kris larsen Says:

    Well I have three:

    Highbrow: Some type of story about moving among the Desert Fathers and Mothers (or maybe like Ruis’ “Marx for Beginners”?) and illustrating some of their sayings and doings.

    Middlebrow: A slice-of-life style story about the trials and struggles a Mormon missionary – doesn’t have to be about homosexuality.

    Lowbrow(?): A Trey Parker/ Matt Stone style “Guide for the Perplexed” about various religions and their beliefs.

  10. Kevin A. Says:

    I’d like to do a graphic novel about an American-born Filipino from San Francisco moving to the Philippines because of work and love and his life experiences having lived there for fifteen years (culture clashes; language-mix-ups; death-threats; demon-possessions; exorcisms; traversing up a volcano; Monkey-eating eagles; failed ostrich rides, etc). I’ve read several books/graphic novels where the opposite was portrayed, an immigrant moving to America. However, in my case, the hero (based on actual events, of course) goes from a country that tends to be ethnocentric to being the foreigner/alien in another country and culture.




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