Producing Characters For Children’s Graphic Novels

While the planet of book publishing has been experiencing all sorts of staggering jolts of late-stores closing, staff cuts at big publishing houses, the conversion to eBooks and e-readers-a single of the handful of bright spots has been the emergence of the graphic novel category. Regardless of what some misinformed parents may perhaps believe, graphic novels are not books focused on salacious activities. Graphic novels are essentially comics in book type. They can be collections of classic comic strips, or comic book series, all-new comics stories, or even non-fiction in comics form. Till not too long ago, bookstores had just two sections devoted to graphic novels-the clearly labeled Graphic Novels section and the Manga (collections of Japanese comics, commonly in thick, black and white paperback editions) section. Because graphic novels are produced for readers of all ages, a Children’s Graphic Novel section is the newest space becoming carved out on the bookshelves.

Writers and artists of comics, specifically the formula-driven super-hero range, searching to come across new perform in this new category generally assume that editors are just searching for simpler, or dumbed-downed versions of current comic book titles. Luckily for us, they are sadly mistaken. Comics and graphic novels for youngsters are perhaps just as demanding, if not extra so than most mainstream superhero titles. That is mainly because kids are looking for imaginative material that appeals to them on several levels-compelling storylines, exciting characters, and colorfully great artwork.

In a lot of techniques, little ones are seeking for the same sorts of characters located in most other books created specifically for young children. Not surprisingly, boys take pleasure in boy characters, girls delight in girl characters, and each boys and girls get pleasure from stories featuring boys and girls. Of course, there’s far more to it than that, and we hope to offer you you a number of insights on building characters for children’s graphic novels.

Like anything creative, the 1st rule is that there are no guidelines. It is actually subjective. All any post of this form can hope to do is give you an understanding of what already exists and perhaps offer you the standard wisdom of the day. But something can, and normally does come about. The creators of Superman, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, produced the Man of Steel from their personal fantasies, and were passionate about the character, while Batman creator Bob Kane was much more focused on generating a productive property that would make him wealthy. So, while it is far nobler sounding to encourage you to pursue that character of your dreams, which may possibly embody a lot of of your private visions and suggestions, it really is accurate that good characters can also be designed somewhat cynically, or even by accident. In some cases, characters can even be developed as parodies of existing properties or celebrities, which then go on to develop into hits on their personal-such as Miss Piggy becoming 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 particular of the most prosperous graphic novels created for children is Jeff Smith’s Bone. Like most preferred properties, the characters in Bone are involved in an epic quest, not unlike the quests in Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. But the most up-to-date sensation in Children’s Graphic Novels is Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, which is far much more grounded in the daily reality of childhood. Though at initial glance these two series might appear entirely different in each and every way-the bigger 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 are both still about characters off on metaphorical journeys or genuine quests that capture the focus of a young audiences.

Does it matter that the Bone characters are neither children nor human? Of course not. What matters is that the characters are recognizable kinds that kids quickly recognize, understand, and like. Which brings us to the query of how does 1 build such characters? Perhaps the actual question must be-how does one inform a story that will captivate a young audience? Most of the greatest children’s fiction characters are little additional than very simple, practically seeming a single-dimensional, characters that are there to represent the reader as he goes on a superb journey. No matter if you happen to be Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland, you are experiencing the story through that character. When Nancy Drew solves a mystery, the reader is secretly a sleuth. When Hannah Montana transforms into a pop star, the reader is ideal onstage beside her.

But how does this relate to the globe of graphic novels? Unlike prose fiction, which despite descriptions of lead characters’ physicality, a reader is still free of charge to project themselves into the function of the protagonist, graphic novels truly show exactly what the story’s lead character looks like (even though, the stick-figure drawing style of Wimpy Kid and the amorphous blob-like creatures in Bone allows for reader identification in a sly way) and it really is significant that readers respond positively to the character’s depiction. Luckily, cartoon characters are generally very lovable. Normally, the primary character is commonly a lot more of an each and every kid-not too outstanding in any clear way, unless it’s one thing that one would ordinarily look at a flaw of some sort. The character may have a particular skill or energy, but it could not be obvious from simply searching at the character.

While Billionaire romance seem to usually put on the same clothing just about every day of their four-color lives, comic book and graphic novel characters aren’t that diverse. Characters such as Tintin or Geronimo Stilton may well change their clothes to suit their ever-changing environments, but they’ll soon revert back to their regular garb at the first opportunity.

But clothing alone don’t make memorable children’s graphic novel characters. Rather usually there is one thing special visually to set the characters apart. It could be a physical function, or even the distinctive style of the artist drawing the character. Certainly, it helps if the visual distinction is meaningful to the character, such as the lightning bolt scar on Harry Potter’s forehead, but it could just be a distinctive hairstyle, as is the case with characters such as Bart Simpson, Naruto, Charlie Brown, Archie Andrews or Tintin.

Naturally, it assists if the character is made to fit the kinds of stories you hope to inform. A character made to be a competitive swimmer, for example, ought to feature something that would make him or her stand out against other swimmers, but in a way that’s not unbelievable or too cartoony – unless the series itself is intended to be more than-the-prime. A compatible art style also tends to make sense. For a dramatic series, you never want the characters to seem unbelievably cartoony, and likewise, you wouldn’t want a humorous character to appear as well serious.

Theoretically, your character could be anything. If you come about to be an professional on rocks, and consider you could do stories about a character who is essentially a rock-go for it! No matter who your key character is, you will nonetheless want the character to be identifiable, and capable to get into as many compelling adventures as doable. If you have secretly been hoping to do a series of graphic novels about your pet dog, an historic figure as a kid, or about a light bulb-there is no cause you cannot do it no rulebook that says such tips are not permitted. Even though you may want to do a search on-line to see if your character’s name is not currently taken – you don’t want to waste time creating a character that already exists.

The accurate inventive challenge is to place together your graphic novel, either by your self or working with an artist or a writer, and build a story that excites your selected audience. An easy way to see if you happen to be heading in the correct path is to place collectively a presentation for a group of kids you hope will appreciate your graphic novel. You in all probability will not need to have more than a couple of sample covers and a couple of completed story pages. If kids respond to the character in a favorable way, and love the stories you have designed, you are on the ideal track. You are going to find no other 1st readers who will be as candid and as honest as a child. You will know quickly regardless of whether they are bored or excited.

Generating characters is not simple. And developing your character is just the very first step. And it must be noted, that there is no market place for characters in and of themselves. Publishers purchase books, not concepts-so you have to have to place the complete graphic novel together ahead of approaching a publisher. And just after you’ve written and drawn your children’s graphic novel, the genuinely hard part begins-obtaining a publisher (unless you intend to publish it oneself). Comics and graphic novel publishers are bombarded by new submissions all the time. Some even refuse to look at new material to stay away from potential legal problems-for instance, a publisher may perhaps already be operating on a project similar to yours, and if they appear at yours before theirs is published, you may perhaps assume they stole your notion and sue them.

But selling a graphic novel is a whole ‘nother story. Making a Children’s Graphic Novel character is an fascinating challenge. If you succeed and go on to develop a Children’s Graphic Novel character (and series) that becomes a classic in the field, the rewards can be higher than you can possibly visualize. The opportunity is genuine, the competition is good, but if you have that specific magical character that generations of young children are sure to appreciate, then by all suggests, get to work, and do it!


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