cover image The Making of a Graphic Novel/The Resonator

The Making of a Graphic Novel/The Resonator

Prentis Rollins, . . Watson-Guptill, $19.95 (168pp) ISBN 978-0-8230-3053-8

For anyone curious about how graphic novels are made—not just how they're conceived, but how they're turned from an idea into inked Bristol-board completion—Rollins's book is the one to buy and read. Rollins, a professional comic-book artist who has "worked on virtually every character in the DC Universe," is an earnest, easy-to-understand adviser who's generous with his insights about craft and techniques. What makes this such a useful guide is that it's also a flip book: read one side, and you get a clear account of how Rollins puts together his graphic novel; turn the book over, and you can read the work he's created, a science fiction story set in a future where people no longer sleep. (Rollins suggests that you read the graphic novel first—that way, the how-to section is easier to follow.) It's a clever conceit, privileging neither component. The Resonator is drawn in exquisite, techno-heavy detail, with lush textures whose secrets are explained in the book's other half. The "making of" portion of the book is likewise lavishly illustrated with working drafts, thumbnails and extensive information on pens, lettering and other shortcuts of the trade. (Jan.)