Comics Confidential: Thirteen Graphic Novelists Talk Story, Craft, and Life Outside the Box edited by Leonard S. Marcus | SLJ Review

redstarMarcus, Leonard S., ed. Comics Confidential: Thirteen Graphic Novelists Talk Story, Craft, and Life Outside the Box. 192p. further reading. glossary. illus. notes. Candlewick. Sept. 2016. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780763659387. NF-MSHS-Marcus-Comics Confidential

Gr 6 Up –In this volume, Marcus compiles interviews with 13 different graphic novel artists. All of the interviews retain their question-and-answer format and are about 12 to 14 pages long. They cover the interviewees’ childhoods, how they got interested in comics, ways comics and graphic novels have changed over the years, and the creative process. Each interview also includes an original two-page comic, created specifically for this volume, loosely focusing on the theme of “city.” Each artist featured is a currently working, well-known creator of material for children (e.g., Cátia Chien, Kazu Kibuishi, Hope Larson, Dave Roman, and Gene Luen Yang). The work provides an interesting perspective on the evolution and growth of graphic novels, as the artists come from different times and places. While there is not enough information to be useful for reports, this is an engaging volume for the format’s fans to learn more about the creators behind popular works and might serve as a good bridge from graphic novels into more prose-based selections. VERDICT A solid choice to supplement a robust graphic novel collection. Hard-core fans will be pleased.–Elizabeth Nicolai, Anchorage Public Library, AK

This review was published in the School Library Journal August 2016 issue.

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