“A marvelous way to tell a difficult story”
The upcoming Austin SCBWI Graphic Novel Workshop on Saturday, October 5 promises to be a day for writers and illustrators, writer-illustrators, and anyone interested in exciting alternative literary forms for children, teens, and young adults. OK, plenty of adults read them, too.
Webcomics creator, animator, digital content creator and our SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) chapter’s intrepid webmaster Erik Kuntz of Square Bear Studio talked with me about graphic novels, why they matter, and what workshop attendees can expect from what could well be the first SCBWI conference devoted solely to graphic novels that we know of.
Austin is a natural location for such a workshop, having been home to many notable cartoonists and comic book artists in their earliest careers, including William Sidney Porter (otherwise known as the short story writer “O. Henry” who illustrated his Austin humor newspaper The Rolling Stone with a lot of his own humorous line art; Roy Crane, who pioneered the ‘adventure comic strip’ with Wash Tubbs, Captain Easy and Buz Sawyer, Gilbert Shelton, who also attended the University of Texas at Austin and conjured the Wonder Wart Hog and The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers in some of the first ‘underground comics’ of the early 1960s — and children’s book author-illustrator Berke Breathed, famous for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Bloom County strip of the 1980s, ten years after he did his first comic strips for the University of Texas at Austin student newspaper The Daily Texan.
As Erik shares with us in the video playlist, The Graphic Novel workshop will feature First Second Books senior editor Calista Brill, graphic novelist author-illustrator Dave Roman, whose children’s graphic novel series Astronaut Academy is published by First Second, and graphics novel writer Cynthia Leitich Smith, whose graphic novels Tantalize: Kieran’s Story (Candlewick Press) and soon to be published Eternal: Zachary Story (also Candlewick Press) stem from her own best-selling Tantalize YA Gothic fantasy series. (Candlewick Press.)
The workshop will occur on the St. Edward’s University campus at 3001 South Congress. Registration tables open at 9 a.m. and you can also register online and read more about the workshop here.
You can check out Erik’s own webcomics series, Hex Libris here.
Enjoy the interview of Cynthia in Cynsations by Austin SCBWI regional advisor Samantha Clark about her work in the graphic novel and this Q&A style post, Graphic Novels: What are they and why should I care? on the Austin SCBWI website.
“Hex Libris” webcomic serial by Erik Kuntz* * * * *