Graphic Novel Club: THIS WAS OUR PACT creator Ryan Andrews explains the importance of drawing by hand

A conversation about the majesty of magical realism

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The Beat is a proud sponsor of Comix Experience’s Graphic Novel of the Month Clubs, which bring comics fans a curated mix of the best of new release graphic novels and conversations with the creators who make them. Each month, the staff of Comix Experience votes on two sets of upcoming books they are most excited—one gets presented to adults and another to middle readers. Each club provides schwag like original signed custom bookplates for adults or buttons and magnets for the kids (in this case, the latter, to support the featured book This Was Our Pact!).

This Was Our Pact Cover

Most excitingly, the Graphic Novel Clubs bring in the creators of selected books to talk exclusively to GNC members in interviews conducted by Comix Experience owner Brian Hibbs, who brings thirty years of experience in comics to the table. These talks are livestreamed to members all over the country and are a fun and informative mix of conversation on craft and form, as well as on the business of making comics.  The Graphic Novel Clubs make a point of being inclusive, inviting creators from a wide variety of age, race, sex, and cultural perspectives to speak to members.

Membership is what propels these conversations, so if you like what you see, please support these discussions of comics, and the creators who make them, by joining the club.

This week: Today, Brian Hibbs sits down with Ryan Andrews, the cartoonist behind This Was Our Pact. This middle grade graphic novel explores the complex friendship between a young boy named Ben and Nathaniel, a member of their friend group who doesn’t really fit in. When the boys follow the path of a river that the townsfolk send paper lanterns down every year during the Autumn Equinox Festival, they experience fantastic events and meet incredible creatures that they never expected to find.

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