While the world of book publishing has been experiencing all sorts of staggering jolts of late-stores closing, staff cuts at major publishing houses, the conversion to eBooks and e-readers-one of the few bright spots has been the emergence of the graphic novel category. Despite what some misinformed parents may believe, graphic novels are not books focused on salacious activities. Graphic novels are basically comics in book form. They can be collections of classic comic strips, or comic book series, all-new comics stories, or even non-fiction in นิยายแปล comics form. Until recently, bookstores had just two sections devoted to graphic novels-the clearly labeled Graphic Novels section and the Manga (collections of Japanese comics, usually in thick, black and white paperback editions) section. Since graphic novels are created for readers of all ages, a Children’s Graphic Novel section is the newest space being carved out on the bookshelves.
Writers and artists of comics, especially the formula-driven super-hero variety, looking to find new work in this new category often assume that editors are simply looking for simpler, or dumbed-downed versions of existing comic book titles. Fortunately for us, they’re sadly mistaken. Comics and graphic novels for children are perhaps just as demanding, if not more so than most mainstream superhero titles. That’s because children are looking for imaginative material that appeals to them on many levels-compelling storylines, fun characters, and colorfully fantastic artwork.
In many ways, kids are looking for the same types of characters found in most other books created especially for children. Not surprisingly, boys enjoy boy characters, girls enjoy girl characters, and both boys and girls enjoy stories featuring boys and girls. Of course, there’s far more to it than that, and we hope to offer you several insights on creating characters for children’s graphic novels.
Like anything creative, the first rule is that there are no rules. It’s really subjective. All any article of this type can hope to do is give you an understanding of what already exists and perhaps offer the conventional wisdom of the day. But anything can, and often does happen. The creators of Superman, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, created the Man of Steel from their personal fantasies, and were passionate about the character, while Batman creator Bob Kane was more focused on creating a successful property that would make him rich. So, while it’s far nobler sounding to encourage you to pursue that character of your dreams, which may embody many of your personal visions and ideas, it’s true that great characters can also be created somewhat cynically, or even by accident. In some cases, characters can even be created as parodies of existing properties or celebrities, which then go on to become hits on their own-such as Miss Piggy being inspired by Miss Peggy Lee or Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles being a parody of a run of Daredevil comics by Frank Miller.
One of the most successful graphic novels created for children is Jeff Smith’s Bone. Like most popular properties, the characters in Bone are involved in an epic quest, not unlike the quests in Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. Yet the latest sensation in Children’s Graphic Novels is Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, which is far more grounded in the everyday reality of childhood. While at first glance these two series may appear totally different in every way-the larger than life fantasy elements of Bone, the mundane reality of Wimpy Kid; the lush graphics of Bone, the stick-figure-like art style of Wimpy Kid-they’re both still about characters off on metaphorical journeys or real quests that capture the attention of a young audiences.