§ The BBC has a short video interview with Attack on Titan creator Hajime Isayama, which I can’t embed because BBC. Isayama talks about his struggles to get AoT published, and the rejection he faced, and confesses “My self esteem was so low when my editor showed interest I thought what’s wrong with this guy.” He says he thought he would end up working in a manga cafe because his art was considered so bad. This is the typical low self esteem expressed by cartoonists, so there is really no difference between manga and US comics. But who is laughing now, with AoT having sold some 52 million copies.
§ There are 41 Comic Books and Graphic Novels Being Made Into TV Shows Right Now — some of these are actually long dropped options but it’s still a long list. Luckily there is a lot of TV these days.
§ A photojournalist (Marc Ellison) and a cartoonist (Christian Mafigiri) have teamed for Graphic Memories a digital graphic novel about four Ugandan women who were abducted as teens to join the Lord’s Resistance Army and their attempts to return to conventional society. Harrowing.
Ellison’s project, funded through a grant from the European Journalism Centre, was published in the Toronto Star yesterday and one of its four chapters has also appeared in German weekly newspaper Die Zeit. He first became familiar with the issue in 2011, when researching the reintegration challenges faced by women after they’d returned as former child soldiers for his master’s thesis.
§ Meanwhile a California high school junior explains how Visual literacy gives you a whole new perspective — although initially surprised when assigned a GN for a class, not she thinks it’s just fine.
Many students read graphic novels in their Literature or Language Composition classes. Why? This is a way to teach about visual rhetoric, a term you’ve probably heard your teacher throw around. Rhetoric basically means argument, so visual rhetoric is basically a way of conveying a point through visual means. Visual rhetoric is the analysis and creation of everything from the arrangements of elements on a page to the fonts you use to pictures. Especially in our media-based world, the power of visual rhetoric is clear. Imagine if this article was in Comic Sans. Your views on me, my writing, and this story would probably be completely different. The Daily Mail covers this, as does Patricia Shepard. To build student capacity in creating and understanding visuals (a field known as visual literacy), many schools give students graphic novels—yes, books with pictures—to read as a way to build these skills. “Maus” and “Persepolis”, two incredibly complex award-winning graphic novels, are often used for these purposes.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.