Disclaimer: This document of learning is out of order, but a document of learning nonetheless.

Before I embarked on my drawing journey, first I wanted to study different graphic novel styles. There are tons out there – manga, Marvel-eqsue superhero comics, ultra-realistic, cartoony. (As you can see, I’m, highly knowledgeable in technical terms.)

I checked out a few titles from our school library, making sure that no two were the same style. I read Tonoharu, The Color of Earth, and Takes from Outer Suburbia. (I would highly recommend Tales of Outer Suburbia. It’s an excellent, quick read. Picture link here:


Tonoharu has as very staticĀ  style, each page featuring four rectangular and symmetrical panels, accompanied by a small text blurb explaining the context of the image. There was little text-to-image interweaving. The book did not feel exciting or dynamic and relied heavily on narration instead of visual action. I believe that this novel would be easily translated into a text-only book.

This style was interesting, but not quite what I was looking to imitate.

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The Color of Earth is the first book in its trilogy and featured a more loose, East-Asian style of art. This makes sense, considering it is set in Korea.

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This novel uses plenty of speech bubbles and varies quite a bit between panels. It used beautiful scenery and great detail…

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…but also took advantage of negative space so the reader never felt overwhelmed with visuals.

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This book was very pretty, but it was a certain style tha I didn’t feel was appropriate of my novel (Walk Two Moons).

Lastly, I read Tales from Outer Suburbia. At first glance, it looks like a children’s picture book:

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I honestly wasn’t expecting much of this thin hardcover book. The pictures looked well-drawn, so I check it out. In reality, it was filled with intensely interesting short stories not quite meant for children, not quite meant for adults. I absolutely loved it.

Another thing I loved about this book? It’s awesome, awesome, art style.





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I instantly knew that this style was very appropriate for the tone of the book I was graphic novelizing. It had an air of mystery too it, but was not unsettling. Nothing seems very concrete or realistic, but it’s not abstract either. I think it’s perfect.

I learned through reading these novels how different styles effect the tones of the story and how to use them to my advantage.

So, to conclude, I will be trying to emanate this sort of ‘feel’ when I draw my panels.


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