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 static 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.
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.
This novel uses plenty of speech bubbles and varies quite a bit between panels. It used beautiful scenery and great detail…
…but also took advantage of negative space so the reader never felt overwhelmed with visuals.
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:
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.
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.