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The Art of the Graphic Memoir: Tell Your Story, Change Your Life

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#1 New York Times bestselling author and Eisner-nominated cartoonist Tom Hart has written a poignant and instructive guide for all aspiring graphic memoirists detailing the tenets of artistry and story-telling inherent in the medium. Hart examines what makes a graphic memoir great, and shows you how to do it. With two dozen professional examples and a deep-dive into his ow #1 New York Times bestselling author and Eisner-nominated cartoonist Tom Hart has written a poignant and instructive guide for all aspiring graphic memoirists detailing the tenets of artistry and story-telling inherent in the medium. Hart examines what makes a graphic memoir great, and shows you how to do it. With two dozen professional examples and a deep-dive into his own story, Hart encourages readers to hone their signature style in the best way to represent their journeys on the page. With clear examples and visual aids, The Art of the Graphic Memoir is emotive, creative, and accessible. Whether you're a comics fan, comic book creator, memoirist, biographer or autobiographer, there’s something inside for everyone.


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#1 New York Times bestselling author and Eisner-nominated cartoonist Tom Hart has written a poignant and instructive guide for all aspiring graphic memoirists detailing the tenets of artistry and story-telling inherent in the medium. Hart examines what makes a graphic memoir great, and shows you how to do it. With two dozen professional examples and a deep-dive into his ow #1 New York Times bestselling author and Eisner-nominated cartoonist Tom Hart has written a poignant and instructive guide for all aspiring graphic memoirists detailing the tenets of artistry and story-telling inherent in the medium. Hart examines what makes a graphic memoir great, and shows you how to do it. With two dozen professional examples and a deep-dive into his own story, Hart encourages readers to hone their signature style in the best way to represent their journeys on the page. With clear examples and visual aids, The Art of the Graphic Memoir is emotive, creative, and accessible. Whether you're a comics fan, comic book creator, memoirist, biographer or autobiographer, there’s something inside for everyone.

30 review for The Art of the Graphic Memoir: Tell Your Story, Change Your Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    A three star book but I gave it four because the topic holds so much interest to me. More than anything, this was a great resource to find excellent graphic memoirs that I'd never heard of but now really want to read. I definitely picked up some good tips and suggestions that I want to try with my own graphic memoir (currently 24 pages drawn). I also appreciated the encouragement that writing one's memoir in comics form is a valid use of time. A three star book but I gave it four because the topic holds so much interest to me. More than anything, this was a great resource to find excellent graphic memoirs that I'd never heard of but now really want to read. I definitely picked up some good tips and suggestions that I want to try with my own graphic memoir (currently 24 pages drawn). I also appreciated the encouragement that writing one's memoir in comics form is a valid use of time.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex Andrasik

    I think I expected this book to be much more like McCloud, only drilled down deeply into comics as memoir--the form, the theory, the history, and so on. It's not quite that, and is not quite as much of what I was looking for, but that's okay. This book is much more of a guide, a path, a course--filled with techniques, and discussions of masters of the form, and step-by-step activities designed to help in the creation of a graphic memoir. If I were an illustrator, and/or about to start a graphic I think I expected this book to be much more like McCloud, only drilled down deeply into comics as memoir--the form, the theory, the history, and so on. It's not quite that, and is not quite as much of what I was looking for, but that's okay. This book is much more of a guide, a path, a course--filled with techniques, and discussions of masters of the form, and step-by-step activities designed to help in the creation of a graphic memoir. If I were an illustrator, and/or about to start a graphic memoir project in earnest, this book would be very helpful. As it is, it is still valuable reading, and despite its status as a demi-textbook, it's quite moving, really. Tom Hart frames his lessons in graphic memoir creation around his own work writing through the sudden death of his young daughter, a project that culminated in ROSALIE LIGHTNING (which I hope to read soon). In his exploration the craft, he brings in critical analyses of the works of Bechdel, Spiegelmann, Eisner, Chast, and many others I've not heard of and whose graphic memoirs I intend to seek out. At its heart, this book makes a strong case for the transformative and necessary act of writing through our experiences--positive or negative--to more fully understand and internalize them.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Raymond Nakamura

    Intriguing and inspiring.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Allyson (bookstaandbujo)

    OKAY this was REALLY cool. I have always been a “creative” and have envisioned doing something like this for ages. I loved how professionally this was done — and how it gave SO many examples with a side-by-side of a real-life graphic novel. But back to the professionalism / seriousness... a part of me was expecting this book to be about “ha ha making a graphic novel is only for silly people who have lots of time on their hands!! 😄” but he describes how even if the book is “silly” how much emotio OKAY this was REALLY cool. I have always been a “creative” and have envisioned doing something like this for ages. I loved how professionally this was done — and how it gave SO many examples with a side-by-side of a real-life graphic novel. But back to the professionalism / seriousness... a part of me was expecting this book to be about “ha ha making a graphic novel is only for silly people who have lots of time on their hands!! 😄” but he describes how even if the book is “silly” how much emotional DEPTH, effort, planning it takes.. that it isn’t just a goofy job, but in fact a very serious one. AND how it is absolutely life changing it is to do. The power of telling your story, and taking the time to DEEPLY analyze the story in BOTH visual and text form, was really inspiring and made me feel less “silly” for having this idea in the back of my mind. The analysis of dozens and dozens of different examples of published graphic novels made things so much more interesting and clear. Understanding which choices they made, and WHY, they were made (regarding their illustration style, the chosen color schemes, the way the text is added, etc.) was mind blowing. I LOVE graphic novels and already had a pre-existing appreciation for them, but even more so after this book. I also loveddddd the ending, and how he gives example timelines for creating your own, check in questions to ask yourself along the way, brainstorming questions, etc.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Noe

    A valuable addition to the comics making process world!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Debra Golden

    This is such a full and personal resource on writing a graphic memoir with very personal insights and tips. Sharing of some other excellent writers is useful and inspiring. The notes on and sections from his memoir of his late daughter are beautiful and heartbreaking. It adds to his point that if you are writing it should matter and somehow change you. What is the point of the story? What are pivotal moments? Do they need words? Writing lots of words helps one to come up with an image. It is den This is such a full and personal resource on writing a graphic memoir with very personal insights and tips. Sharing of some other excellent writers is useful and inspiring. The notes on and sections from his memoir of his late daughter are beautiful and heartbreaking. It adds to his point that if you are writing it should matter and somehow change you. What is the point of the story? What are pivotal moments? Do they need words? Writing lots of words helps one to come up with an image. It is dense with so much to take in, so it wasn't a fast read for me. Lots of extremely useful suggestions such as gather more info than you think you need, and explore different styles are ones that I will use. Maybe I'll do a short one such as he includes towards the end of this book. Even if you don't plan on writing one, it's a great insight into how much WORK it actually is.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Geri chesner

    I enjoyed reading this book and learning more about how graphic memoirs are made - not in the technical process, but in the deep reflection and growing that takes place when creating one. I enjoyed Rosalie Lightning written by Tom Hart and it was interesting to see his emotional and spiritual processes that helped him to develop his heartbreaking but growth projected graphic memoir. Appreciated the sections that encouraged other graphic memoirists (or aspiring) to try different activities to hel I enjoyed reading this book and learning more about how graphic memoirs are made - not in the technical process, but in the deep reflection and growing that takes place when creating one. I enjoyed Rosalie Lightning written by Tom Hart and it was interesting to see his emotional and spiritual processes that helped him to develop his heartbreaking but growth projected graphic memoir. Appreciated the sections that encouraged other graphic memoirists (or aspiring) to try different activities to help frame one's thinking and development of their memoirs. I found this helpful for memoir writing in general, not just for creating graphic memoirs - although that would be a format I'd love to try.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carlye Holladay

    I read this because I teach a unit on graphic memoir in my senior English class, but really it’s more than a tutorial for those who want to attempt the form. Instead, I found Hart’s advice helpful for someone like me who’s looking to write more and needs a little inspiration for how to begin and to continue writing. I loved the way the book is set up as we follow Hart’s writing while also examining other published graphic memoirs. Lots of great ideas in here!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Comics Alternative

    http://comicsalternative.com/comics-a... http://comicsalternative.com/comics-a...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I thought this book was excellent at showing someone how to start a project to write their own memoirs. Making lists, gathering materials, trying out ideas, and other exercises get you started. The middle of the book lost its momentum as it tried to describe the artwork of comics or graphic novels. Many times I could not correlate the text description with the illustrations. In all, I think the book fails to really give practical instruction on the use of art to tell the story which is what was p I thought this book was excellent at showing someone how to start a project to write their own memoirs. Making lists, gathering materials, trying out ideas, and other exercises get you started. The middle of the book lost its momentum as it tried to describe the artwork of comics or graphic novels. Many times I could not correlate the text description with the illustrations. In all, I think the book fails to really give practical instruction on the use of art to tell the story which is what was promised. It does give a lot of examples of other artist work, So much so that there seems to be another agenda here instead of the stated goal to explain how the art conveys information for the story. Also it was very ambiguous as to whether the author was encouraging writing memoirs as a professional effort or as journaling and introspection. One could argue that you write the book for yourself and hope it sells, but I don’t think that’s realistic. Perhaps that’s why the graphic section fell short. If you’re writing as a journalistic exercise you can include symbolism that mean something to your self and to your own experience. But if you are writing for the general public you need to use symbolism that is known to your target market whether that is a certain age, people of a certain experience, etc. there is a huge difference between writing for your self and drawing for yourself versus for others. The ending includes a story which has been referred to throughout the book which was a nice way to illustrate the concepts given. All in all, I think this is a really good book to get started on developing your own graphic memoir whether you want to tell your whole life story or just bits and pieces of your life.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    1) Accomplished 2) Ingenious 3) I think this process really could "change your life"! Enjoyment: 3 "Through the process of writing and drawing our story, we can understand ourselves, communicate with parts of ourselves, and sometimes find ourselves face-to-face with our own complexity. With our own largeness." -p.174 This is a special book. It's an instructional resource, but also something personal, sophisticated, and dense with experience and meaning. Hart offers ample examples from real works by 1) Accomplished 2) Ingenious 3) I think this process really could "change your life"! Enjoyment: 3 "Through the process of writing and drawing our story, we can understand ourselves, communicate with parts of ourselves, and sometimes find ourselves face-to-face with our own complexity. With our own largeness." -p.174 This is a special book. It's an instructional resource, but also something personal, sophisticated, and dense with experience and meaning. Hart offers ample examples from real works by other artists. At times some concepts need more discussion as presented principles are abstract. In taking the reader through the process of creation, at the end of each chapter Hart provides his own example in progress to concretize his lessons. This culminates in the completed graphic story that ends the book. Delightful and a display of labored love.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    An incredible read on how to begin creating a graphic memoir. It doesn't cover much about drawing/composition/skills/etc., but the overall principles taught are enlightening. *Some sexualized nude figures (one page) An incredible read on how to begin creating a graphic memoir. It doesn't cover much about drawing/composition/skills/etc., but the overall principles taught are enlightening. *Some sexualized nude figures (one page)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emily Stewart

    This text has lots of exercises to give you ideas and practice. It's hard to read it without adding more books to your TBR pile, thanks to the wealth of examples provided. This text has lots of exercises to give you ideas and practice. It's hard to read it without adding more books to your TBR pile, thanks to the wealth of examples provided.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marisol

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ashleigh Mendez

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ben Barnett

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jenan

  18. 4 out of 5

    Yasaswi ||☆Caught up in books☆

  19. 5 out of 5

    Denisse Quintanilla

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alyse

  21. 5 out of 5

    Eva

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wasan Syananondh

  24. 4 out of 5

    OTIS

  25. 4 out of 5

    Halie H

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Williams

  27. 5 out of 5

    Don Unger

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michael Fitzpatrick

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jen Barger

  30. 5 out of 5

    Renee Guill

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