The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel

by Nat Gertler, Steve Lieber


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Tools for creating the next great graphic novel!

What do the movies Men In Black, Road to Perdition, Ghost World, and X-Men all have in common? Each started out as a graphic novel-one of the fastest growing segments of the book publishing industry. Now, here is the first book to provide a comprehensive and detailed look at the process involved in creating a successful graphic novel.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592572335
Publisher: DK
Publication date: 07/06/2004
Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 7.98(w) x 9.94(h) x 0.79(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Nat Gertler is an acclaimed comic book editor, educator, and graphic novel industry expert. His serialized graphic novel, The Factor, was nominated for an Eisner Award, and his publishing imprint, About Comics, has released works by several New York Times bestselling authors. He is the author of seven Complete Idiot's Guides books.

Steve Lieber is an award-wining graphic artist who has professionally drawn Conan, Buffy, Superman, Star Trek, and Batman comics. Lieber recently completed work on a sequel to the graphic novel, Road To Perdition, which was the source for the 2003 Academy Award-winning film by the same name.

Table of Contents

Part 1Planning Your Novel1
1The Novel World of Graphic Novels3
What's a Graphic Novel? (The Short Answer)4
Why a Graphic Novel4
Growing the Graphic Novel8
How Big Is Big?12
What's a Graphic Novel? (The Long Answer)13
2What's Your Goal?15
For Money or for the Monet15
For Yourself or an Audience?19
Lone Hero or Superteam?19
One Big Book or a Plethora of Pamphlets?22
Don't Be a Goalie23
3Creating a Creative Team Creatively25
Typical Titanic Team Members25
Collaborate Uniquely, Like Others29
Rating Goodness? Gracious!30
Creative Crew, Where Are You?34
The Benefits of Paying People35
Doing Right with Rights36
Doling Out Dollars37
4What's It All About?39
Genres Are Generally Germaine39
Make a Theme-Filled Cupcake44
The Concept of Concept46
Part 2The Writer's Art49
5Who, Why, and Huh? Interesting People and Events51
Who Are These Characters?51
Revealing Characters You Never Vealed54
Why Should Anyone Care?56
Example Characters: The Big Con58
6What, Where, When, and Whatchamacallit?61
You're Nowhere Without a Place61
Time for Time63
Paperize It64
Plot-Checkin' Fricassee65
Pile On the Problems66
Combinations and Permutations67
Take Out the Garbage!68
7Planning the Panels69
Pacing to the Pages69
Script Style: Every Which Way but Wrong70
Breaking the Page Window Is a Pane73
Set Your Scene76
Be a Remote-Control Cameraman78
Angles That Work Angelically79
How Loose Is Too Loose, Lautrec?80
8Delicious Dialog83
Dallying with Dialog83
Captions Courageous88
Sounds Effective88
Mark Your Words89
9A Bit of The Big Con: Script93
Part 3Putting It in Pencil103
10Designing Your Characters105
Reading Is Fundamental105
Start at the Head106
Body Building109
Dressing for Success110
Your Work, It's Fantastic!111
Put It All Together113
11Places, Things, and Other Dead Nouns115
Read That Script Again115
If You're Sticking Around117
Getting Real118
Making Stuff Up119
Getting Your Props121
No Sheet, Sherlock122
12Decrypt the Script123
Different Sorts of Scripts123
Read Like a Writer124
Pick a Theme125
Using the Theme126
Harm Reduction132
13Lovely Layouts135
Thumbs Up135
Left to Right, Top to Bottom137
Calling the Shots139
The Shape of Things to Come140
What If They Don't Fit Together?143
The Little Version of The Big Con144
14Render for Real147
Some Art Supplies You Need147
Assembling Reference Materials152
Blowing Up Your Thumbs157
Letting Your Live Art Bleed158
15Drawing for Graphic Novels161
What the Job Requires161
How to Learn to Draw162
Acting Out: Finding the Right Gesture167
Let There Be Light171
Handing Off the Penciled Pages172
16Stylize Yourself-Finding Your Voice175
Looking Back at Style175
Factors That Influence Style180
Taking Control of the Process181
Experiments Are Free184
17A Bit of The Big Con: The Penciled Pages189
Part 4Polishing the Pages199
18Old-Fangled Letterin'201
Tool Time202
Drawing the Alphabet204
Placing Them on the Board207
Balloons and Boxes208
Sound Effects and Clever Lettering Tricks209
Read What You Can About It211
19Inking the Art213
Which Way to Work?213
Your Job, Should You Choose to Accept It214
Ways to Get Better215
Tool Time216
Changing the Pencils219
Ways to Ink220
Transitions and Textures222
Inking for Color or Black and White223
Books on Drawing with Ink223
20A Bit of The Big Con: The Inked Pages225
21New-Fangled Letterin'235
Lettere Requirements236
Founts of Fonts236
Pushing the Page In237
Putting the Text in Context238
Blowing Up Balloons240
22Colors Besides Black and White245
Four Colors? Not Millions?246
Don't Paint Yourself into a Corner246
Showing Light and Shade248
Pick Your Crayons Carefully249
Colorful Computer250
Putting the Page in Place250
Flatting: Bad for Tires, Good for Colors252
Surrendering to Rendering253
Part 5Bring Out Your Book257
23Pretty Please Publish Me!259
Pitching in the Strike Zone259
Picking Publishers to Pitch261
Convention Contention263
Honor an Offer?263
Right and Wrong Rights Deals266
24Releasing on the Cheap269
Limiting Losses Rather Than Gathering Gains269
Online Outlets273
25Put It Out Yourself: Printing279
A Single Spurt or Slowly Serialized?279
Pick a Perfect Printer281
Pre-Press with Success284
The Proof Is in the Proof286
26Put It Out Yourself: Distribution289
Diamond: A Gem of an Operation290
Direct Distributors on Parade292
Dealing with Dealers294
Get Yourshelf in Bookstores295
27Promoting and Publicizing299
Press. Release. Repeat299
Adding Ads304
The Conventions of Conventions304
Autographing Like a Superstar306
AGraphic Novel Publishers309
BGraphic Novel Conventions313
COther Resources for Graphic Novelists315

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