7-Inch-Kara

Highly Suggested Graphic Novels - 7” Kara Volume 1

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7” Kara is an ongoing children’s comic independently published and printed by Becca Hillburn. Hillburn holds a Master’s degree in Sequential Art.  Volume 1 holds the first four chapters of the narrative, and includes a short side story for an anthology, as well as production notes.

Plot Summary

Kara and her family are Lilliputians, small human-like creatures who live off of the land and under human structures. The two early chapters follow the drama of her family deciding whether or not they should flee to a different location once they get news of a new human family moving in close to them. Her parents’ share different views on both human-Lilliputian relations and how to raise their headstrong daughter. After talking with her mother about the existence of humans, something that had been mythologized for her beforehand, the sheltered Kara ventures out to meet one.

Visuals

The entire comic is done in pencils and lovely watercolors.  The characters have a body and facial styling reminiscent of many shoujo manga, though Hillburn takes advantage of her choice of medium and adds far more detail to the skin complexion of characters. Both Kara and her father have freckled skin, and the lead human character has a dark complexion and dominant mole. Since the story takes place from the perspective of a tiny character, small objects are rendered in detail.

Extra Content

Hillburn also includes production notes and an extra story after the first four chapters. The most interesting additions are the early drafts of the comic which featured a more traditional manga style which was kept in grayscale and featured a lot of inking, rather than the colorful and light direction the comic eventually took. Character concept sketches and maps are also included, which I can assure you from personal experience, are like fuel for creative young children to see in the back of their books.  Hillburn appears to be invested in making comics as welcoming an environment as possible for young girls, and showing them a bit of the work involved in creating them is an important contribution.

Overall

The story presented in the first four chapters makes me curious about how the Lilliputians live and cohabitate with the human world around them, and how they do things like fish when they themselves don’t grow over a foot. The subject will have to be brought up in the future, so it’s something to look forward to.  I’ll be waiting for the subsequent releases, and will likely be donating this volume to my local library so that the intended audience can get their hands on it.

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My own Graphic Novel Series, Druid City, Two Volumes Out

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5

Hey guys!   I’m sure most of you know this already from Twitter, but I’m going to be sharing a table with Emily Kluwin at SPX this year.  I have a lot of exciting things this year, including chapters 1 and 2 of my watercolor comic, 7" Kara (and I’m working on Ch 3 for those of you who were left on the cliffhanger, and I’ll TOTALLY show you if you ask:3), TEN BRAND NEW, SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL InkIt charms, new button designs, and I’ll be taking commissions of the sketch and watercolor variety.  If you leave your table number below, I’ll add it to my ‘visit and spend money’ map and come say hi!

4

First three pages of chapter 4, mostly done (save for the panel borders, scanning, tweaking, and lettering of course). I used a new blue tape for stretching the paper, and unfortunately, it failed in it’s job. The thicker paper didn’t buckle as badly as Chapter 1’s, but there’s still warping that may make scanning difficult later on. As you can see, I had to use blue tape (Blu) to tape down the newer tape (IPG, from DickBlick.com), and it still managed to tear the paper upon removal.

Since this chapter is dialogue heavy, I may end up posting more WIP pages, especially since I won’t be doing as much sketching.

10

Here’s a compilation of some of the ALA stuff I’ve been sharing here lately.  I have a small but growing library of books I’ve been published in, several of which will be for sale next weekend, including copies of Travel and Once Upon a Time.  Of course, I’ll have copies of the first volume of my K-6th grade watercolor comic, 7" Kara.  7" Kara will be three volumes total, the first of which introduces 7 inch tall, 11 year old Kara, her family, and her first human friend, Naomi.  I’ve spent weeks working on some promotional mini watercolors for librarians and educators who purchase 5 copies at ALA this year.  Individuals buying a single copy get their choice of one of two wooden Kara charms, and I’m offering my entire range of wooden charms as well.  The librarians I’ve had the pleasure of knowing have been sassy, self assured individuals, so I also introduced some book lover sassy buttons.  Full of glitter and decked out with rhinestones and cute cabochons, my sassy librarian buttons include:

Glitternerd
My Heart Belongs to YA
I <3 Comics
Reader of Banned Books
Book Hoarder

I’m also going to be something incredibly unusual for me, and I’ll be offering some of my full size watercolor originals, many of which were used in Volume 1.  Most of these average 11"x14" (although a few are larger), and range from $25-$80.

I’m also promoting Gizmo Grandma: A Twisty Tale, a children’s novel I’m currently illustrating, so feel free to grab a postcard and ask to see the portfolio.  I’ll have several portfolios with me (Kara, Gizmo Grandma, and my anthology work), but as they’re so large, they’ll be behind the table.  If you’d like to see one, just ask!  They’re full of watercolor work from the past year and a half.

I’m going to be in the artist alley at table 141 from Friday afternoon until Monday, and I have a piece up for auction, so if you can, swing by, maybe buy a $5 sketch, flip through my books, and pepper me with questions!