Tag Archives: comics: writing

Tucker Grizzwell’s Worst Week Ever Review

tucker_grizzwells_worst_week_everTucker Grizzwell’s Worst Week Ever by Bill Schorr and Ralph Smith

Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2017. 978-1449469108

Synopsis: Tucker Grizzwell is having a bad day…times seven. The school bully is out to get him after Tucker accidentally flung a dead beetle at him across the room. He’s got detention for almost blowing up the school during chemistry class. He misses the class field trip to the Planetarium because a kid got sick ON HIM on the bus. And when he tries to confide in his friends about the Jaws and Claws weekend with his dad, they don’t really seem to get it. Plus, there’s this Jaws and Claws weekend with his dad where he’s supposed to learn the skills every grizzy needs to know, and Tucker is less than enthused about having to kill his own dinner.

Why I picked it up: I think everyone has their own worst week ever – maybe more often than not!

Why I finished it: Most readers will identify with Tucker’s family issues and middle school woes. Adult readers will get a kick out of the interactions between the parents than younger readers, but I think that is one of the things that I enjoyed about this comic/book. We’ve all had to endure the unexpected surprise of a pop quiz or running into our mom at the mall when we told her we were studying or doing something silly to impress someone you like or even dealing with the questionable content being passed off as food in the cafeteria. Readers identify with Tucker’s need to be his own bear, to forge his own path that perhaps doesn’t include raiding campsites or dumpster diving like his dad. It’s easy for us to see why Tucker and his sister Fauna are confused by the words of wisdom offered to them by their father, especially when he seems to talk in circles. What endeared me immediately to the story and the characters was that it reminded me of the comics I loved reading in the newspaper growing up. I always looked forward to Hagar the Horrible and For Better or Worse and Zits because even though I didn’t get all of the humor, I loved following the daily lives of these imaginary people that were almost sort of kind of going through the same things I was going through. It’s a comic that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages, especially when we think things couldn’t possibly get worse.

Other related materials: Molly and the Bear by Bob Scott; AAAA!: A FoxTrot Kids Edition by Bill Amend; Big Nate books by Lincoln Peirce; Oh, Brother! Brat Attack! by Bob Weber, Jr. and Jay Stephens; Garfield comics by Jim Davis; Snoopy: Contact! (A Peanuts Collection) by Charles M. Schulz; Woodstock: Master of Disguise: A Peanuts Collection by Charles M. Schulz; Charlie Brown and Friends: A Peanuts Collection by Charles M. Schulz; Beginning Pearls: A Pearls Before Swine Collection by Stephan T. Pastis; The Croc Ate My Homework: A Pearls Before Swine Collection by Stephan T. Pastis; Skip School, Fly to Space: A Pearls Before Swine Collection by Stephan T. Pastis; When Crocs Fly: A Pearls Before Swine Collection by Stephan T. Pastis; The Mutts Diaries by Patrick McDonnell; The Mutts Winter Diaries by Patrick McDonnell


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Manga Pro Superstar Workshop review

Manga Pro Superstar Workshop: How to Create and Sell Comics and Graphic Novels by Colleen Doran

IMPACT Books, 2008. 978-1-58180-985-5

Synopsis: Want to draw manga or comics? It’s a pretty hot industry and everyone from writers, artists to publishers are looking to create the next big thing. Colleen Doran has worked with DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and IMPACT Books drawing and writing comics and her expertise is shared with other young aspiring artists/writers and mangaka (Japanese comic creators). With notes on everything you need to get started, from finding the right kind of paper and pencils to tips, techniques and exercises to help with tone, perspective, sketching, inking, storyboarding and finishing touches, this book offers a great start for young people looking to create and sell comics and graphic novels.

Why I picked it up: I love writing and I love graphic novels (but alas, am not much in the art department), and with so many books on the subject of creating and selling comics, I thought it prudent to see what it takes for an American to draw with an Eastern influence.

Why I finished it: Doran’s knowledge of the comics industry shows, and tips from a pro are invaluable for anyone looking to make a career in comics or in writing. The step-by-step instructions and drawings were helpful with illustrating concepts and the little exercises in each chapter help reinforce ideas and encourage the artist to work on the basics to develop their own style. What I liked the most was the publishing primer at the end of the book and the stories of Doran’s own experience breaking into the field, which can be applied to most anyone looking to go into publishing. She also offers some insights into the risks and benefits of self-publishing, reminding the reader to always stay positive and move forward despite criticisms and negativity.

Other related materials: Basic Figure Drawing Techniques by Greg Albert; Perspective for Comic Book Artists by David Chelsea; The DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics by Mark Chiarello and Todd Klein; Writing for Comics With Peter David by Peter David; Girl to Grrrl Manga by Colleen Doran; Comics and Sequential Art by Will Eisner; Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative by Will Eisner; Draw Comics With Dick Giordano by Dick Giordano; The Art of the Storyboard: Storyboarding for Film, TV, and Animation by John Hart; Film Directing: Shot b Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen by Steven D. Katz; Making Comics by Scott McCloud; Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud; Perspective Made Easy by Ernest R. Norling; Color Mixing Recipes for Portraits by William F. Powell; Comic Artist’s Photo Reference: People and Poses by Buddy Scalera; Anatomy: A Complete Guide for Artists by Joseph Sheppard; Facial Expressions: A Visual Reference for Artists by Mark Simon; Dreamland Japan by Frederik Schodt; Manga! Manga!: The World of Japanese Comics by Frederik Schodt; Shojo Fashion Manga Art School: How to Draw Cool Looks and Characters by Irene Flores; Shoujo Manga Techniques: Writing Stories by Mako Itsuki; Vanishing Point: Perspective for Comics from the Ground Up by Jason Cheeseman-Meyer


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