Finished: Nov. 17, 2010
First Published: Sep. 1, 2010
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Genre: children, graphic novel, how-to, non-fiction
Summer vacation, week three...Acquired: Received a review copy from Kids Can Press.
Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a graphic novels panelist.
This book is mostly a non-fiction guide on how to make your own comic book thinly guised within the framework of a fictional story. Lila and Ecco go to a Comic Con but they have to keep Lila's little sister with them. She runs off and they chase her into a room where a panel is discussing comics/graphic novels and how they are made. At the end of the presentation little how-to booklets are distributed. Once home, Lila and Ecco one day sit down and read the booklet cover to cover as they follow the instructions to make their own comics.
The information is very detailed and easy to follow. If the reader is already a comfortable artist the information contained here will have them drawing their own comics in no time. The story format makes the book easy to read and entertaining but on the other hand will make finding specific information later hard to find. Whether the book will actually work as a how-to I'm not thoroughly convinced. I know myself I would prefer a non-fiction book with an index so I could look up topics again without having to search through the whole book. With that said, the book will certainly inspire budding graphic artists to stop dreaming and get to work on actually making their drawings and sketches into real, professional looking comics. The back of the book gives a list of suggested further reading. One other thing I personally couldn't get past was that I just did not like the artwork in this book. While the instruction panels were clear, the story panels were crowded, the drawing style was unimpressive veering towards sloppy and I just did not care for the faces at all finding them rather ugly and off-putting.