wordless novels

GAINING PERSPECTIVE ON GRAPHIC NARRATIVE: essential/ worthwhile/ personal favorite books regarding comics as an art, technique, style, or serve other significance

in short, i work at a book store and take great advantage of the ability to order whatever i want for the store without bearing the responsibility of paying for anything. i read a lot of books and texts about comics because i’m driven to make a graphic novel i’m proud of, these are just some of many i find noteworthy- b/c no one actually needs a bunch of courses or an art degree to obtain a broader upstanding of the illustrated narrative and subsequently grow as a comic artist.

  1. binky brown meets the holy virgin mary - justin green (duh. essential for contextualizing early crumb/ spiegelman/ a lot of work in the comix scene & era as well as serving as the ultimate ideal model for the autobiographical comic narrative.)
  2. graphic women: life narrative and contemporary comics - hilary l. chute (adore this one- its subjects and contents are the bible for women producing autobiographic comic content)
  3. panel discussions: design in sequential art storytelling - durwin s. talon (an essential and personal favorite and all around perfect book)
  4. comics versus art: comics in the art world - bart beaty
  5. the power of comics: history, form and culture - randy duncan
  6. cartooning: philosophy and practice - ivan brunetti
  7. german expressionist woodcuts - shane weller
  8. the art of the woodcut: masterworks from the 1920s - malcolm c. salaman
  9. wordless books: the original graphic novels - david a. berona
  10. graphic witness: four wordless graphic novels - masereel, ward, patri, and hyde (this and the former three are the best introduction to textless graphic novels/ expressionist woodcuts that i’ve come across. woodcut narratives have been so huge for me.)
  11. critical approaches to comics: theories and methods - randy duncan 
  12. underground classics: the transformation of comics into comix - james philip danky
  13. from staple guns to thumb tacks: flyer art from the 1982-1995 new orleans hardcore scene / punk is dead punk is everything (not a universal necessity but punk flyer art has always been a big inspiration and love of mine. it had visual command that lends well to comic structure)
  14. the visual language of comics: introduction to the structure and cognition of sequential images - neil cohn
  15. the art of possible! comics mainly without pictures - kenneth koch
  16. a hummet: a treated victorian novel - tom phillips 
  17. une semaine de bonte: a surrealistic novel in collage - max ernst (this and the former are some personal favorites and incredibly useful/ inspiring for incorporating collage elements into comic narrative)
  18. comics and sequential art: principles and practices - will eisner (any of eisner’s books are applicable here)
  19. the system of comics / comics and narration - thierry groensteen (all groensteen’s pieces on comics are so great.)
  20. how to draw noir comics: the art and technique of visual storytelling - shawn martinbrough
  21. comics and language: reimagining critical discourse on the form - hannah miodrag (a touch bloated and precociously academic but an insightful read nonetheless)
  22. best of comix book: when marvel comics went underground - stan lee
  23. panel one: comic book scripts by top writers - dwayne mcduffie
  24. AX volume 1: a collection of alternative manga - various authors (another personal favorite. but i think any comic artist can benefit from AX- it’s an amazing and diverse collection of highly stylized shorts that take really interesting and surreal narrative directions)
  25. vanishing point: perspective for comics from the ground up - jason cheeseman
  26. rebel visions: underground comix - patrick rosenkranz
  27. drawing words and writing pictures/ mastering comics - jessica abel & matt madden (yeah anything jessica abel touches is perfect)
  28. the graphic canon vol 1-3 - russ kick
  29. graphic subjects: critical essays on autobiography and graphic novels - michael a. chaney
  30. projections: comics and the history of twenty-first century storytelling - jared gardener
  31. lynd ward: six novels in woodcuts - lynd ward (..,,there’s nothing i can say about ward that would do him justice really. he was the master of the craft and i just consider his work so intrinsically important.)
  32. the language of comics: word and image - n.c. christopher couch
  33. the daniel clowes reader: a critical edition of ghost world and other stories, with essays, interviews, and annotations - daniel clowes 
  34. comics, comix, & graphic novels: a history of comic art -roger sabin (one of my favorites)
  35. a comics studies reader - jeet heer (an on point essay collective, way really impressed with the diversity of topics addressed)
  36. making comics: storytelling secrets of comics, manga, and graphic novels - scott mccloud
  37. love and rockets: the covers - los bros hernandez (the entire series is more ideal of course but l&r’s covers are engaging even in a secular context from their narrative)
  38. writing and illustrating the graphic novel: everything you need to know to create great work and get it published - daniel cooney
  39. 99 ways to tell a story: exercises in style - matt madden
  40. framed ink: drawing and composition for visual storytellers - marco mateu-mestre
  41. perspective! for comic book artists - david chelsea
  42. TO END ON A FUN NOTE ::: wampus, vol. 1 - franco frescura & luciano bernasconi ((the stupidly fun dated as hell french comic book that’s supposedly a cult classic but i’ve never encountered anyone else who’s actually read it so like, help me out here)

 

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Raighne and I saw a pileated woodpecker in our backyard last week. It was visiting the Kentucky Coffee Tree. Before I could get a good pic it flew into the maple. Can you see it?

I have been gathering final blurbs and the foreword for my next book ‘Sound of Snow Falling’.  It is a documentary-style, wordless graphic novel about a winter in the lives of a family of great horned owls. Advanced copies will available at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD in Sept 2016. Then we will do a Kickstarter for it and the rest of the Winter Collection books in November. Publication date for distribution in bookstores is December 2016.

The Spring Collection is 15% funded. My book, Time Capsule, can be ordered with with the Spring Collection. Just choose the rewards MIX & MATCH, 3 SEASONS, or 4 SEASONS and request the Fall Collection. The Fall Collection is in limited supply btw! 

Illustration from “Wild Pilgrimage"  by Lynd Ward

Wild Pilgrimage is the third wordless novel of American artist Lynd Ward (1905–1985), published in 1932. It was executed in 108 monochromatic wood engravings, printed alternately in black ink when representing reality and orange to represent the protagonist’s fantasies. The protagonist finds himself battling opposing dualities such as freedom versus responsibility, the individual versus society, and love versus death.

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Sound of Snow Falling is a wordless, documentary-style graphic novel about a family of great horned owls. Full color acrylic paintings by me, Maggie Umber. I spent four years watching owl cams and reading books to get this right. It is scheduled to debut in 2dcloud’s 2016 Fall Collection.

We have 5 days remaining on our 2016 Winter Collection and are 75% funded. We need your help to keep publishing books, books like Sound of Snow Falling. Pledge!

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The official trailer for “WORDLESS!” Here’s your sneak peek of the show.