Thursday, February 12, 2015

Book Review--The Everything Guide to Writing Graphic Novels

During my stint of jury duty, I read a few how-to books on comics and graphic novels.

One of the first books I finished was The Everything Guide to Writing Graphic Novels, written by husband & wife team, Mark Ellis and Melissa Martin-Ellis.

This guide is just one out of the plethora of The Everything Series.

The Everything Guide to Writing Graphic Novels contains a little bit of--well--everything about graphic novels.  As such, the book covers a wide range of topics in 211 illustrated pages, just not in any great detail. 

The 20 chapters discuss:  The history of graphic novels, assessing one's ability to produce a graphic novel, the concept/plot, the various genres, the writing process, team dynamics (if you're collaborating with others), the writer's requirements; artistic contributions made by the penciler, inker, letterer and colorist; the use of a production flowchart, cover design, storage and shipping, advertising, distribution companies and finally--legal issues.

Only seven people have reviewed the book on, giving it an average of 3.4 out of 5 stars.  Just over half of the reviewers liked the book, giving it 3 x 4-stars and 1 x 5-stars.  Two reviewers thought the book was okay, but one of them noted the Kindle edition contained numerous typos. 

The 1-star reviewer disliked this book for a variety of reasons:  Too short, not enough information, and too many illustrations--primarily from the author.

While I feel that The Everything Guide to Writing Graphic Novels, is indeed, short on information, the book makes up for this shortcoming by providing an extensive number of links to websites.  Nor did I have any qualms about the author using illustrations from his own graphic novels.  It wasn't like he was bragging about them.

I'll give The Everything Guide to Writing Graphic Novels another 4-star rating.  It was exactly what I expected, and is a good place to start one's research into creating graphic novels.

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