Graphic Novel Exploration via New Kid by Jerry Craft

Below are aspects of graphic novels that may help people understand and explore them better. If you’re creating a graphic novel, these categories can be a partial checklist for your content. You can learn more about the multi-layered, easy to relate to text, in addition to more heart- and mind-provoking content of New Kid at Jerry Craft’s website

Applying visual story techniques for graphic novels, from a D.C. Comics editor’s webinar. Aspects as a graphic novel:

–Great use of wardrobe and props. Maury, Andy, Jordan (wears a hoodie because he is cold), Deandre and Drew.

–The pacing is amazing.

–Jerry Craft’s dialogue reveals tons that can’t be seen. Especially in scenes with Ms. Rawle.

–Character Development – Every character has a strong visual style and distinct physicality. Mr. Craft uses silhouettes for some of the characters and I could easily identify them.

What and how the characters do their actions, is well done.

Each main character has scenes that reveal important information about them.

–Set Design – Great use of Pencil Sketches

Variety – use of muted color scenes, brighter color scenes. Chapter divides were colorful, has various styles to them. And some have mostly black backgrounds.

–I enjoyed Jordan’s extremely expressive face. Drew had less. It was a nice contrast between characters.

— Settings convey feelings.

— Settings reveal character. – Use of the angels on Jordan’s shoulders as an example.

Jerry Craft definitely invested his choices with meaning in my opinion.

He varied his action and activity:

– sports talk -sports events, he didn’t show the typical sports scenes.

– bus rides – sitting by lockers, Drew and Jordan talking

– Heart to heart, Alexandra sharing with Jordan about being burned while saving her brother. Hence wearing puppets to hide her scars.

– Playing video games – these scenes often held a lot of meaning and depth.

Funny zombie use at beginning of school, before vacation. I’m not a fan of zombie stuff but this was funny.

-Art class irony. Jordan wants to go to art school but can’t stand his art class at this school. Talking with the teacher, Jordan makes discoveries and opens his mind.

The Indie bookstore that’s so much more, Mystery To Me, has my copy of Class Act waiting and I can’t wait to join this adventure!

Fantastic resources abound for creating graphic novels, please check out the websites of creators you enjoy. More resources you may want to explore to learn further:

Scott McCloud and Wil Eisner’s books about creating graphic novels and comics.
Using Comics and Graphic Novels in the Classroom 
National Council of Teachers of English

Understanding, Using and Defending GNs
The Cooperative Children’s Book Center, University of Wisconsin

Resources for Teaching Graphic Novels in the Classroom
School Library Journal