Feb 12, 2012

Graphic Novel Review

Click all pictures for a larger view

Blankets  by Craig Thompson

This graphic novel is an autobiographical narrative (the protagonist's name is Craig) that deals with Craig's unhappy childhood, in which he was a social outcast, having grown up under parents who ministered grimly oppressive religious discipline. 

Blankets is a somber and sometimes very sad tale of a person's struggle to find his place in the world, and the result is haunting and moving.

Strangers In Paradise by Terry Moore

I am absolutely hooked on this on-going series by Terry Moore. In fact my goal is to improve my drawing style to come closer to Moore's mastery of expressions, bodies in various poses, and use of pacing to create a compelling narrative.

SIP is about Katchoo, a young woman who has a dark, secret past that repeatedly comes back to haunt her. Katchoo is in love with Francine, whom she has known since high school. Francine is an all-American girl who doesn't realize the depths of Katchoo's feelings. David, who has a secret past of his own, is in love with Katchoo but does not know what to do about it.

Moore is not female, but writes about female friendships with a mastery, weaving in various plots throughout. His characters are so believable you develop an attachment to them and feel their pain. The art is first class, as are the expressions and panel arrangement. Do yourself a favor and check this series out.

Terry Moore has also produced two short books, one about How to Draw Women, the other How To Draw Expressions, that are available on his website.

I ordered both directly from his website and received them very quickly. They're well worth the small price (only $5.00). I found them for free on-line, but I preferred to buy the books and support the artist, as I urge you to do as well.

These books are not a how-to-draw guide as much as they are a window into Moore's approach to drawing, and it's hard to argue with quality of his work. A good addition to any artist's library.

LINK to Terry Moore's website

LINK to purchase How to Draw Women and How To Draw Expressions (click on the Related Books link at the top)

LINK to Terry Moore's blog

Liberty Meadows by Frank Cho

I can't believe I haven't seen this one already!

Liberty Meadows is about an animal sanctuary with talking animals and realistically drawn humans (similar to Bone). 

It is quirky, filled with pop culture references and hilarious. Cho's writing is sharp and snappy and his art is top notch. The strip at left made me crack up big time.

Cho also does several other series, including uncensored stories filled with sexy women, such as Jungle Queen. While Liberty Meadows is fun for all ages, his other work is geared more toward adults. Below is a sample of Liberty Meadows. I love how he plays with the very structure of the comic strip, violating the boxes to make them part of the story.

LINK to Frank Cho's website

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