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Book J741.51 MCLACHLAN Children's J Non-fiction

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Whether kids want to write or draw a comic that's funny or scary, long or short, made-up or true-to-life, cartoonist and author Brian McLachlan maintains there are just ten crucial things they need to know to get started. Using colloquial text, images, and examples, each chapter hones in on a different secret to creating great comics. Budding comic artists will learn how to make text and illustrations work together, how to give characters personality, how to choose the right tool for each project, and much more. A worthy addition to the how-to comics canon, Draw Out the Story simplifies advanced concepts for younger readers, providing invaluable lessons and pointers for kids who want to learn to write and draw - and imagine - great stories.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

There's no shortage of how-to-create-comics manuals around, but McLachlan (The Princess Planet webcomic) manages to distinguish his by breaking down complex concepts with very accurately age-targeted language and examples. His instructions are divided into 10 secrets, each an overarching and abstract idea essential to comics and story creation, like unifying words and art, practicing simplicity, creating ideas, and even a chapter on knowing when to break the rules. He then explains the concept in practical terms with easily understandable language and a great deal of enthusiasm. He fills each chapter with visual examples and pro tips and ends each one with exercises that will pull budding cartoonists right in. Though he affords ample time to the visual mechanics, McLachlan offers salient writing advice as well, touching on elements that have produced great stories for as long as there have been stories, in an easygoing and unintimidating manner. Indeed, like a beloved teacher, McLachlan's warmth, humor, and charm make this book the absolute best of its kind for the age group.--Karp, Jesse Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Comics creator McLachlan outlines 10 secrets, from "Comics let you show and tell" to "Go beyond the normal," as he encourages readers to try their hand at graphic storytelling. He opens with a discussion of "comics grammar" (explaining conventions like speech balloons, panels, and caption boxes), then moves into discussions of styles and genres, the use of details and color, how to give drawings personality, and developing one's ideas. McLachlan's comics appear throughout to, well, illustrate his points; in a section about telling "complex or deep stories with simple art," a yellow circle with black lines for rays appears near an ornately rendered sun ("Again, that doesn't mean the story with the second kind of sun will be better"). It's a useful and accessible primer for the next generation of comics artists and writers. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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