Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A quick summary of last evening's graphic novels panel

The room was packed, with people sitting on the floor and standing in the back. Three great speakers, which meant that my duties as moderator basically consisted of introducing the speakers and then fielding questions at the end.

Eric Rabkin walked us through a close reading of the classic children's picture book Goodbye Moon, making the case for a visual language that can be every bit as complex as the written word and intuitively understood by young children.

Jim Ottaviani made the case for using comics to tell stories of science (which, he says, is more readily accepted by science people than comics people!) and demonstrated the creation of a scene from T-Minus, from research to writing to the final printed page.

Phoebe Gloecker talked about why she chooses to draw comics and how it is an emotional engagement for her. She talked some about her experiences traveling to Mexico for frist-hand research on her latest project, and about how the new generation of eBooks readers like the iPad may open new creative freedoms for comics creators.

A big thanks to the staff of the Shapiro library for putting the panel together and providing the space, and to our panelists who gave three very different by very engaging presentations.

(There was a video recording made of the panel, but I'm not sure if it will be made widely available...)

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