Writing My Graphic Novel, “Sleeper Chronicles”

graphic novel page

This page is a work in progress, with the top two images being final and the bottom sketch still in draft form.

Coming back to college as a non-traditional student, with ten years to forget what college life was like, and a young child in tow, was definitely interesting, to say the least. I chose to come to Shepherd University specifically because of the RBA program that is offered here. With all of my credits accounted for, I only needed 29 more credits to complete my education. I came back in Fall 2016 and took a full course load. With Spring 2017 being the semester that I hope to graduate, I took the remaining required courses but wanted to have a little creative fun, since I am a writer and artist, so I chose Comm 343: Graphic Novel. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I am so glad that I took it.

This class is not your traditional art application class with lecture and little time to apply the information. With the help of rather impressive autobiographical graphic novels* as a guide, we were instructed to create our own autobiographical graphic novels as our final project. There was a bit that I already knew about graphic novels, and the one thing that I was 100% sure of was that I could not complete one. Professor Larson provided a very easy-to-use software, ComicLife, that aided in the creation of panels, dialogue/narrative bubbles, as well as filters to make your work look professional. I am hooked, not only on the genre, but on the concept of writing and storytelling in a new way that, while I had considered it, did not think possible until now.

*Note: The class read Blankets, Understanding Comics, Fun Home, and March.

page from graphic novel

The opening page from Marquitte Polite’s final project for COMM 343 Graphic Novel uses a combination of hand-drawn imagery and manipulated photography.

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