Book This Gift, You Graphic Self-Chronicler
Because your life’s narrative structure deserves some good paneling
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
11:30AM, Thu. Dec. 6, 2018
Not everybody’s going to conjure up a powerful classic like Art Spiegelman’s Maus. Not everybody’s going to render an intense work like Debbie Drechsler’s Daddy’s Girl. Like Chester Brown’s I Never Liked You. Like Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. Like Tom Hart’s Rosalie Lightning. Like –
You get the idea: Not everybody is going to create a graphic memoir like those artists have.
But there are so many different graphic memoirs that are so good, and the artists who made them are, after all, just people – like you, like everybody – who decided to do whatever it takes to put their experiences into words and pictures. The way that the bestselling author Tom Hart, mentioned above, did. Hart is also the man responsible for the new Art of the Graphic Memoir from St. Martin’s Press, a guide to telling your life’s story through sequential art.
"Guide" is the perfect word for this well-illustrated trade paperback, as it’s much like when you have a dedicated personal guide showing you around an unfamiliar city or wilderness, pointing out the best paths to follow, the wonders sometimes hidden in plain sight. Hart walks you through the authoring process step-by-step, offering examples from his own professional work and many other successful graphic memoirs along the way, covering a diversity of styles and the drawing tools necessary for their execution, exploring the different methods of structuring a narrative – everything you’ll need to tell, compellingly, the story of your life among the approximately eight billion other lives in this disastrous and glorious world of ours.
Not everybody wants to reveal themselves like this, of course, for one reason or another. Lights under bushels, mouths – metaphorical and otherwise – kept mum. But for those who do want to, and who’d like to use the rich medium of comics to do it with, Tom Hart’s new Art of the Graphic Memoir is an invaluable resource.