Sunday, March 28, 2021

And here’s another graphic novel format

Map of one of the scenes in my new graphic novel
Watercolour and crayon
©2021 Charlene Brown

One of my personal favourite formats is the plan view, used for maps or floor plans.

Not everyone is as enthusiastic about plan views as I am. And they’re not always a logical addition to a story – for example, except for a small map of the world, there was no reason to include any plan view diagrams in my previous graphic novel.  But I’ve decided the map shown above – the (fictional) location of the Exceptional Ice Field Snowboarding Championship, showing the race course and some of the crowd – would be an interesting way to define the scene.  Not particularly helpful, but interesting. 

Are you following my book promotion on Instagram? Hope so.

If you don’t have Instagram you can find my Instagram posts by clicking    Instagram


Sunday, March 21, 2021

You can format a graphic novel any way you want


Chapter 6 of Counter-Espionage Disinformation Graphic Novel
InDesign document
©2010 Charlene Brown

In addition to the usual comic panels, you can format a graphic novel in the allegorical illustration style I described last week, or you can use full page illustrations, mixtures of text narrative and comic panels with speech balloons (which can include ‘Characters Without Borders’ loose on the page outside the panels), like these two spreads from Chapter 6 of  the first graphic novel I wrote

I've been posting on Instagram to promote my book, The 'Starting Out' Years, all through March.  

Even if you're not on Instagram you can find my Instagram posts by clickingInstagram

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Newton’s first law of graphic novel production

Chapter 3 of my first graphic novel
InDesign document
©2010 Charlene Brown

Newton’s first law of motion states that every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force.  This is why it’s easier to keep going than to get going, and it applies to almost every complex project.

So, the short form of Newton’s First Law of Graphic Novel Production is:  Start!

More specifically — Start by getting something down on paper.  Arrange the components of the first scene: story text and dialogue, background picture, figures, maybe a little collage.  My plan was to write and draw the graphic novel I’ve just started one scene at a time, with conversation balloons on segments of the background illustration interspersed with text, as I did for spreads such as the one shown above from the first graphic novel I wrote.

I soon discovered that technique isn't going to work this time, at least not for the first scene.  There’s far too much dialogue, and most of the action takes place in the same two small segments of the background picture I'm using for the first scene.

I solved the problem by adopting the style of an allegory and putting all the action in one picture. I also dispensed with the conversation balloons, leaving all of the dialogue in its original screenplay formatting — for now anyway.  Some dialogue may find its way back into the frame if I include it in the collage layering. 

Scene 1, Take 2 - The Allegory, is a work in progress.


Are you following my book promotion on Instagram? Hope so.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

And One More Instagram from the 21-day challenge

Falaj near Dubai
Watercolour and gouache
©1993 Charlene Brown

This is the last of the paintings I posted on Instagram as part of the 21-day challenge.  The theme  the day I posted 'Falaj near Dubai' was ‘Largest painting’ so I put up this triptych, which covered two full sheets of watercolour paper, one intact and one divided lengthwise.

Part of my reason for taking part in that challenge was to learn how to use Instagram so I could promote my book, The Starting Out' Years on that platform. I actually started the Instagram promotion on March 1.  There are four posts promoting my book so far, which you can check out on the page with all my Instagram posts.  Or, better yet, if you've got Instagram on your phone, please look for me at #charlenebrownwriter