Genre tips

Today’s #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Graphic Novels

The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post every day except Sundays during the month of April on a thematic topic. This year, my second year with A to Z, I’ll cover thirty more writing genres (I covered thirty last year!).

Today’s genre:

Graphic Novel


Graphic Novel: a novel in comic-strip format

Tipsa to z

  1. It doesn’t matter if the art inspires story or vice versa. Start with either.
  2. Think comic book only longer.
  3. Start with a script. Storyboard it.
  4. Start with a strong character and compelling plot.
  5. Show the characters and the setting in your story to readers in graphic detail.
  6. Pick a setting that will give the novel depth and make it interesting on a visual level.
  7. Pick a particular drawing style, one that suits you.
  8. Keep the character’s features and characteristics consistent throughout the novel.
  9. Include dialogue that identifies the character.
  10. End with a resolution or realization.

Popular Books

  1. Ant Colony by Michael DeForge
  2. Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland
  3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  4. Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware
  5. Mooncop by Tom Gauld
  6. Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea  by Guy Delisle
  7. Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi
  8. Scott Pilgrim, Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley
  9. Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1 (Twilight: The Graphic Novel, #1)   by Stephenie Meyer
  10. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

Click for complete list of  2018 A to Z genres

More G Genres:

If you’re doing the AtoZ Challenge, please add your name and blog address to this interactive list. I’ll be sure to visit you each day.


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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the upcoming Born in a Treacherous Time. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

60 thoughts on “Today’s #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Graphic Novels

  1. Pingback: #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Genre Fiction | WordDreams...

  2. Graphic novels are truly gaining mainstream popularity! There’s so much you can do with them – I remember reading the “classics” in graphic novel format – great introduction to them, so you want to return to them later when you can get through the original. (As an interesting sidenote, I just finished reading a book that was part text story, part graphic novel. Very interesting combination, though I’ll admit that at the beginning I wasn’t very convinced it would work!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maus by Art Spiegelman and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, two very famous graphic novels that portray political and social upheaval through personal visions.

    One of my personal favorites is The Arrival by Shaun Tan, the story of immigrants told told only through some of the most gorgeous charcoal drawings ever rendered.

    Stitches by David Small is a graphic biography, telling the story of his childhood when a supposedly benign throat surgery leaves him unable to speak. Thus his world becomes one of images.

    Then there is Aliceheimer’s by Dana Walrath, not quite a graphic novel but it might interest anyone who likes this genre. Actually, it’s a graphic memoir, the story of Walrath’s mother, Alice, who has Alzheimer’s, told through narrative and an incredible series of art pieces constructed of torn apart books with pencil work overlaid. Tender and prophetic as Alice is losing her ability to understand language. Her words are garbled as are the images, yet Alice shines through everything, a warrior every bit as courageous as Don Quixote.

    These are not your grandpa’s comic books.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jacqui,

    I thought while doing my sketches last year that I wanted to illustrate my own children’s story but after I tried doing it, I lost confidence and drive. Perhaps I was expecting too much of myself too soon. I’m sure when the time is right then I will rise to the occasion but until then I’m just going to have fun sketching. Thanks for enlightening me with these points on what a graphic novel is and oh yeah for visiting my iPad Art Sketches ‘Goofy Faces’ post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Jackie – I see the Walking Dead started as one of these … well live and learn, and then I see the one about North Korea – that sounds interesting – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are so many pictorial fiction genres now, I’m not sure of the difference between comics (like Batman) and any others. To me, anything with pictures to tell a novel-length story are graphic novels. Me too, as far as comics, though I do like the Marvel series and movies.


  6. Not my favourite genre, but have read one for a reading challenge. One of reasons could be that I read it on Kindle which wasn’t easy. Then read it on Kindle app for PC which isn’t my ideal way to read books. Must read a physical book and try again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes–I think you’re right. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes formatting in Kindle that makes it difficult to add pictures (as well as tables and charts) to those books. This I know from personal experience.


  7. I’ve only read a few recently because of the PopSugar reading challenge that I was doing. Graphic novels was one of the categories. I don’t even read the comics much so that’s probably why I am not a graphic novel reader.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My elder son is an animator so I’ve seen him story-boarding – it’s a HUGE process. I’ve never come across a graphic novel but I can see the purpose in it. Maybe illustrated books eg Winnie the Pooh or Roald Dahl or Dr Seuss are some kind of graphic ‘novel’ for younger readers? Interesting post thanks Jacqui –

    Liked by 1 person

  9. GREAT POST ! Graphic Novels great choice

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    ☮♫ ƤҼƌҪҼ ƌƝƊ ĻƠṼҼ ॐ βԼƐֆֆїɳɠֆ ƌƝƊ βԼїֆֆ ♫☮

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’ve been collecting the Dark Tower graphic novels of late. Obviously that gives me away as a King fan of said book series!

    I think for young minds comics and graphic novels are a great way of engaging them into fiction and reading too.

    Liked by 1 person

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