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Are there shorter graphic novels? If so, page count?

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I have a book that is bigger than a picture book (also a little older than a standard pb). It seems to be falling into the GN range. But it's still not a HUGE book, plotwise. What's an acceptable length for a shorter-end GN for say, lower middle grade? (I am trying to plan out the pages for art.)
#1 - February 08, 2019, 11:11 AM

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Check out the GNs published by ABDO?
#2 - February 08, 2019, 01:33 PM
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I don't know if this article will help, but I found it interesting: https://bookriot.com/2018/04/18/must-read-middle-grade-graphic-novels/.
#3 - February 08, 2019, 04:01 PM
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ABDO does publish shorter ones, thanks for the recommendation. And I see on Robin's list is Hereville, which I remember being shorter as well.

I feel like right now, the book is somewhere between a picture book and a graphic novel. But I need to make it into a GN, so...
#4 - February 08, 2019, 05:35 PM

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We had a speaker on this topic last fall in the LI region. There are notes in the regional newsletter. Graphic novels have much less sophisticated plots than a standard novel. I can't remember what was specified in the notes, but it was a good presentation.
#5 - February 08, 2019, 06:26 PM
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What about Arty's Chicken books? They're more for early readers. I think many publishers have "bridge" books that are in CB category.
#6 - February 08, 2019, 07:39 PM
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What age range are you thinking of? I've seen middle grade & YA graphic novels that are as short as 80 pages. ZebraFish by FableVision/Peter Reynolds seemed short for the target age & it's 128 pages (not too short, just on the shorter side of norm). Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story by David Robertson & Scott Henderson is 40 pages long & shelved in the middle grade section at my local library - I see one recommendation online for ages 13 - 17 probably because of the difficult subject matter.

John Martz's Burt's Way Home is 48 pages. I think it's an all ages comic but seemed quite sophisticated - not really a picture book age book. Felt more suitable for ages 8 & up.

Ashley Spires has a number of GNs (Binky, Fluffy, Gordon) for ages 7 - 10, they range from 64 to 72 pages.

Jennifer & Matt Holm have a series called My First Comics - they are 22 page board books.
There are also plenty of PB that are heavily inspired by comics (Arree Chung's Ninja comes to mind, there are many more).

I think there is lots of leeway with graphic novel length. It would depend on the subject matter & how many pages you need to have to properly tell the story. In multiples of 8 of course.


#7 - February 09, 2019, 06:20 AM
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I think to make it a graphic novel rather than a picture book you'll likely be dealing with an older than picture book age character and a slightly more complex story. While GN stories are generally tighter in plot than a novel, they do have subplots. (Picture books don't have subplots). I'd go with the usual advice - read as many GNs as possible in the genre you think your book will fit into. That will give you a good feel for what works & what doesn't.
#8 - February 09, 2019, 06:26 AM
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:D Graphically, one must always think in multiples of 8, no?

I checked out a slew of GNs and have been reading, but they really are all different lengths. I'd say my characters are probably 4th-5th graders, with those kinds of concerns. There's basically one main plotline, but it's more plot than say, a 300 word pb might carry. I dunno, maybe I need to think up a related subplot that could be running in the background in the pictures? I feel it's more than a pb but on the short side for a GN. Then again, I have a book out right now that has four "chapters" and is told entirely in comic format. It's not a picture book, but it's short for a GN. (The library houses it in GN.)

Anyway, it's good to know that there is a wide range.
#9 - February 09, 2019, 03:44 PM

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I'm working a MG GN & I found the subplots came about very organically. I found Cheryl Kleins Magic Words & Mary Kole's Writing Irresistable Kidlit very helpful in understanding & figuring out my plot/subplots.
#10 - February 10, 2019, 05:30 AM
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