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Graphic Novels / Re: Stats on GN page/panel content
« Last post by A. S. Templeton on November 24, 2021, 07:01 PM »
A 9 year old says chapter book to me. Think about your reader age.
I always do; nevertheless, comics and graphic novels are, as they used to say, "Where it's at."

As always in GN-land, it is up to the artist to lay out the artwork and speech bubbles (and captions, if any) such that the narrative flows smoothly, with the least amount of ambiguity as to successive action and dialogue such that even younger readers can keep up. I once read a poorly laid-out GN wherein the artist added ARROWS to forcibly direct the reader's attention to the desired next frame!

Oz: The Complete Collection (Young & Shanower) is a splendid example of a reimagined classic in GN presentation with appeal far beyond the under-9 set. That, like Ender's Game (which has been GNed) and the entire Harry Potter book series (not yet), bugsplats the zombie truism that readers can identify only with like-age protagonists.
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Graphic Novels / Re: Stats on GN page/panel content
« Last post by Debbie Vilardi on November 24, 2021, 06:27 PM »
A 9 year old says chapter book to me. Think about your reader age.

(Btw, I've done a graphic novel as work-for-hire. The publisher considers it that, but the page count is PB length. The thing is it has a lot more images than a traditional PB. I can't say more until it comes out. There are PBs in this style from quite a way back though. Look at the work of James Stevenson. We love him in our house---my kids are now 16 and 20.)
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Graphic Novels / Re: Stats on GN page/panel content
« Last post by A. S. Templeton on November 23, 2021, 11:43 PM »
I'm curious as to whether these are really novels or "comic-style picture books."
Good point. The published GNs that I analyzed were (and still would be) found on the adult GN shelf. The MC in my Thingamajigs GN is 9 years old, with dialogue vocabulary drawn from that of 120 years back--a bit quaint, but still accessible by today's kids.

Manga and classic action comix tend to rely heavily on visualized sound effects; adult-market GNs with literary pretensions, not so much. I try to keep SFX to a minimum.

Still, much depends on how much "production value" the artist adds when interpreting the script, informed by market standards. Appropriately simplifying the artwork while keeping the emotional core of the characters' expressions must be a tough balancing act in kidlit illustration, from PB through GN. Too, less detail = faster = cheaper to produce.
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Graphic Novels / Re: Stats on GN page/panel content
« Last post by Debbie Vilardi on November 23, 2021, 06:46 PM »
That is really cool to think about. I think varying the panels and amount of dialog vs narration is key. Also, that pages can be fully wordless is a thing.

For kids, audience also matters. Too much text per page will seem overwhelming to a young reader.

I'm curious as to whether these are really novels or "comic-style picture books." Twenty-eight pages is classic PB length, and forty-eight is short for a MG novel. We need a clearer term: graphic picture book?
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Research / Re: Looking for searchable, free database of historical photos
« Last post by JodyJS on November 23, 2021, 11:08 AM »
Thanks, all! I've used many of these successfully. I'll try the others.

I find the LOC database really difficult to navigate, unfortunately. Do you have to have the special handshake?  :grin3

Thanks again!
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Research / Re: Looking for searchable, free database of historical photos
« Last post by Brian Garrison on November 23, 2021, 08:42 AM »
Is there a more specific theme that would narrow the options? (cityscapes, people, fashion, art/museum collections, toys, etc.). I enjoy the curiosities presented in the Public Domain Review.

They have a general list of collections:
https://publicdomainreview.org/collections

And they have regular articles that highlight certain themes, such as this one about games:
https://publicdomainreview.org/essay/progress-in-play-board-games-and-the-meaning-of-history



Another place that lists a wide range of collections is the Internet Archive:
https://archive.org
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Research / Re: Looking for searchable, free database of historical photos
« Last post by dinalapomy101 on November 23, 2021, 07:24 AM »
Your local library system -- or the system in the geographical area you are looking for -- may have a database of photos.
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Research / Re: Looking for searchable, free database of historical photos
« Last post by dewsanddamps on November 22, 2021, 10:31 PM »
National Archives and Library of Congress.
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Graphic Novels / Re: Stats on GN page/panel content
« Last post by dewsanddamps on November 22, 2021, 10:29 PM »
Interesting breakdown, A.S.   :thankyou
30
Graphic Novels / Stats on GN page/panel content
« Last post by A. S. Templeton on November 22, 2021, 07:52 PM »
In expanding into GN writing, I started small by adapting a 14-page screenplay short into GN script format.

In contrast to screenplays, GN stories are broken down per-page instead of per-scene. Shots and angles map into page panels, and narration and voice-overs into captions. Sound effects (SFX) are formatted as dialogue, and actual dialogue may be spoken by characters in-panel or out-panel (O.P.). GN scripts are thus akin to movie shooting scripts.

First off is what happened to the page count: a 14pp screenplay swelled into a GN of first 28pp then 48pp. Quite the expansion!

More intriguing were the ratios of panels/page compared to dialogues/page. Turns out that, for the 15-page samplings of published GNs that I analyzed, the ratios are about equal, with large variances in panel and dialogue count among pages

Sandman vol 1: 4.7±3.6 panels/page (78% variance) vs. 4.5±6.3 dialogues/page.
Sandman vol 8: 6.2±2.1 panels/page (34% variance) vs. 6.5±6.8 dialogues/page;
Note that, over the series, pages become visually more crowded and less varied in complexity, while characters become more talkative overall.

Elfquest book 1: 5.1±2.4 panels/page (48% variance) vs. 5.0±5.7 dialogues/page
Elfquest book 8: 5.1±2.4 panels/page (47% variance) vs. 8.1±4.8 dialogues/page
Note that, over the series, page visual complexity stays exactly the same, while characters become borderline prolix.

Bone Ch7: 5.2±1.7 panels/page (33% variance) vs. 6.1±6.5 dialogues/page.
Bone mostly uses a 2x3-panel format, with relatively few exceptions, hence the lower panels/page variance.
The characters like to talk a lot, too, but sometimes not at all on a given page.

I analyzed several other GNs, with much the same results.

Okay, thought I, time to plug my 28pp GN draft into the same rigorous analysis. The results were eye-opening.

Thingamajigs v 011: 6.4±1.2 panels/page (19% variance) vs. 4.4±2.9 dialogues/page.
This told me that the draft provided little panel variation page-to-page, with characters delivering similar quantities of dialogue/page.
Story aside, such lack of visual and dramatic texture = BORING.

After studying from the masters about how panels are apportioned according to drama and action, I tried again, with a net page count upped to 48.

Thingamajigs v 018: 4.2±2.3 panels/page (54% variance)  vs. 3.0±3.3 dialogues/page.
Much improved! Pages and dialogue vary much more. My characters ended up talking/singing more, albeit less on average per page, but the variance is greater and therefore better.

Also, marketability: a 48-page GN is more likely to be picked up than a 28-pager.

Anyway, studying how "the pros" write and illustrate GN is worthwhile, even if one does not use a spreadsheet and statistics to evaluate how one's own works stack up.

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