Everything Guide to Writing Graphic Novels

Everything GuideMelissa Martin Ellis & her husband, author Mark Ellis, wrote their book, The Everything Guide to Writing Graphic Novels together in 2007.

The title can be ordered from Barnes & Noble and Amazon. The Amazon link is: http://tinyurl.com/b5k7nfe

See below for a brief excerpt.

Introduction to Graphic Novels

Comics’ historian, artist and visionary, Jim Steranko described the genesis of modern comic books as a “dream that instantly developed into a full scale industry.”

More than just a cultural phenomenon, comic books became, along with jazz, one of the two purely American art forms. Like jazz, comics suffered through a long period of time when they were considered disreputable.

Although the comics form entered into popular culture far more swiftly than jazz, it was never accorded any degree of respect and was usually dismissed as an example of completely disposable art. People who found value in the comics medium, either as fans or creators, were viewed as little better than subliterates.

But, as the old song says, time was on our side. In the form of the graphic novel, the comics medium is now a legitimate expression of both art and literature. The creative urge can find its full outlet through the marriage of narrative and sequential art, melding drawing and story elements into something unique—a tale told through pictures and dialogue, separated into single images confined by panels.

Although the traditional production of comic books has been due to the output of a team (writer, pencil artist, inker, colorist and letterer), very often graphic novels harken back to the older production method of newspaper strips. These features were created by writer-artists like Milton Caniff, Will Eisner and Hal Foster. They were artists, but they were also blessed with the talent to spin gripping yarns. These were young men who started out with a dream and many pictures later found themselves to be the authors of enduring pieces of Americana, parents of cultural icons that have outlived their creators. The authors of today’s graphic novels may very well find that their own dreams will achieve a similar sort of immortality.

The Everything Guide to Writing Graphic Novels outlines the process of comics’ creation, from story to panel layout, to finished, printed production. Graphic novels have entered the mainstream and become the hot category for both established professionals and aspiring creators. From super-heroes to werewolves, Hollywood is increasingly looking toward graphic novels to adapt into films… V For Vendetta, Road To Perdition, A History of Violence, The Watchmen…these are just a few graphic novels that have enjoyed immense popularity and translation into big-budget films.

In The Everything Guide to Writing Graphic Novels, professional comics creators Mark and Melissa Ellis break down the creation process into easy to follow steps, from the creation of characters to gripping storylines and the ins and outs of publication production.

This book offers examples of comics’ artwork by famous, even legendary artists to use as guides and inspirations. At the same time, we hope that this book offers a little of the same kind of emotional nourishment provided by comics themselves—a sense of fun and adventure.

Art & graphics Copyright Adams Media 2007.