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The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Graphic Literature: Artists and Writers on Creating Graphic Narratives, Poetry Comics, and Literary Collage

ISBN: 9781941628294
Binding: Paperback
Editors: Kelcey Ervick & Tom Hart
Pages: 296
Trim: 6.75 x 10 inches
Published: 07/18/2023

The fourth volume in the immensely popular Field Guide series, The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Graphic Literature gives readers unprecedented insight into the techniques of 28 of today's most innovative creators of poetry comics, graphic narratives, and image-text hybrids. With original craft essays, corresponding exercises, and full-color examples of their work, each contributor offers reflection and instruction informed by their own methods and processes. From mark-making and page composition to deeper renderings of place, character, and voice, this much-needed guide to the field illuminates and demystifies the process of creating image+text work. Editors Kelcey Ervick and Tom Hart also provide a historical introduction that links today's graphic literature to visual storytelling of the past and helpful pedagogical resources to round out the volume. This is a book for writers who want to make graphic narratives and literary collage, illustrators and comics artists exploring new approaches to storytelling, teachers encouraging their students to work with image and text, and anyone curious about what one contributor calls "comics magic."

FEATURING ESSAYS AND GRAPHIC LITERATURE WORK FROM: Justine Mara Andersen, Oliver Baez Bendorf, Leonie Brialey, Thi Bui, Sharon Lee De La Cruz, David Dodd Lee, Arwen Donahue, Trinidad Escobar, Naoko Fujimoto, Marnie Galloway, Lauren Haldeman, Tom Hart, Mira Jacob, Keith Knight, Aidan Koch, Matt Madden, Mita Mahato, Deborah A. Miranda, Josh Neufeld, Dustin Parsons, Zeke Peña, Nick Francis Potter, Kristen Radtke, Scott Roberts, Alexander Rothman, Eleni Sikelianos, Bianca Stone, and Lawrence Sutin


Kelcey Ervick is the author of the graphic memoir, The Keeper. Her previous award-winning books are The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová, a text+image biographical collage, and two works of fiction, Liliane's Balcony and For Sale by Owner. Her comics have been published widely, including in The Washington Post, The Believer, and Lit Hub, and two featured comics series of hers have appeared in The Rumpus. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati and is a professor of English at Indiana University South Bend, where she teaches creative writing, comics, and literary collage.

Tom Hart is the author/artist of The New York Times #1 bestselling graphic memoir Rosalie Lightning and of The Art of the Graphic Memoir. He is the executive director of The Sequential Artists Workshop, an organization and school for comics and graphic novels in Gainesville, Florida, which also offers extensive online courses. Before founding SAW, Tom was a core instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City for 10 years.


"Kelcey Ervick and Tom Hart have assembled a dynamite and diverse cast of comics creators under the covers of this exciting and important collection. Each contributor offers a deeply insightful window into their respective approaches to comics-making and shows how to put these ideas into practice through smartly-composed accompanying creative exercises sure to open spaces for readers to discover their own way into making comics—whatever their background. This is an indispensable resource for anyone teaching comics and for comics authors, from the experienced looking for new inspiration to those just getting started on their journey." - Nick Sousanis, author of Unflattening

"This is such a beautiful, helpful book. If comics is a giant dome, with your story locked inside, The Field Guide to Graphic Literature presents you with 28 different philosophical doors into that world. The practicality of this book, and its acknowledgement of the myriad of avenues and practices in comics, makes me feel inspired as both a creator and a teacher." - Nicole J. Georges, author of Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir

"This book is a good first step to unlearning what you think you know about comics, a medium so vast, it's mind-blowing. It's inspiring to see the processes of such diverse, talented artists, and to be let in on their creative philosophies." - MariNaomi, author of I Thought You Loved Me

"Poet and cartoonist Ervick (The Keeper) and Sequential Artist's Workshop school founder and cartoonist Hart (Rosalie Lightning) host a dazzling showcase of short academic essays designed to get artists and educators jazzed about the 'hybrid form' of comics. Selections cover the elements of comics composition, including page design, dialogue, and illustration, and discuss how to apply these tools to experimental narratives, collage comics, 'comics poetry,' journalism, memoir, political cartooning, and more. The contributors represent an eclectic mix of traditional cartoonists, mixed-media artists, and writers across a range of cultural backgrounds. Naoko Fujimoto's use of historical Japanese picture scrolls for inspiration sits beside Deborah A. Miranda's mosaic approach to family history and Nick Francis Potter's 'deconstruction of play.' Each viewpoint features samples of art and a creative exercise. As varied as the topics run, they're united by a personal, empathetic approach that makes abstract theory accessible. Instructors teaching comics as a mature art form will find this collection indispensable, and aspiring cartoonists will be inspired." - Publishers Weekly

"Part theory, part exercise book, part anthology, this unique guide could be used as the foundation for a class on graphic literature but is also useful for self-study or simply as a means of discovering new writers and artists. This welcome companion to Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics and Will Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art is recommended for public and academic libraries alike." - Lindsay Harmon, Booklist