Quirky Characters

Graphic Novels: Telling Stories

Some of the most endearing, and enduring, characters in literature are classic underdogs.

Ben is continuing this tradition with XXNathanColeXX, the main character in the graphic novel he is writing and illustrating in the class, Graphic Novels.

“He’s quirky,” Ben said of his character. “He never walks. He only uses his hoverboard. And when he runs out of battery, he says, ‘I’m tired’.”

Evidently, nobody likes him except his friend LoliKittiX3 and the two of them annoy everyone, Ben continued. “They’re totally oblivious to the fact that no one likes them.”

The authors learn this type of in-depth character development when first devising their storylines. The character’s physical description comes next.

Ben created the appearance of his characters on the computer using an electronic drawing pad and pen. This is the second year he has taken Graphic Novels because of his love of cartooning, particularly manga. “It’s a Japanese style story, an Eastern kind of unique story,” he explained.

Sloane, Cammi Jo, and Alia worked in the hallway completing the rough drafts of their stories. Their love of graphic novels made this class a natural choice.

“I really like to read graphic novels and I like to draw so I’m smashing that together,” Sloane said.

“I like reading and writing and drawing, so I thought this would be the perfect class,” Cammi Jo said.

Alia had similar reasons for taking Graphic Novels this year. Her friend Sloane teased her: “And, you have an excuse to draw dragons all day,” she laughed.

Alia agreed that being able to obsess over dragons was a selling point. She was surrounded by dozens of dragon sketches. Students were required to create a series of character model sheets on which they explored their character’s expressions, head and body views, and movements. Alia’s sheets showed sketches of her dragon character, Evergreen, in various poses and using different expressions – happy, skeptical, surprised, concerned.

Evergreen is a medic in her story. “She travels around the country for a few weeks at a time,” Alia explained. “Anyone who’s hurt can come to her for help.”

Cammi Jo’s plot involves “a bunch of ‘sweet people’ running for president.” The comedy includes candidates Daisy the Donut and Peyton the Popcorn. Peyton ends up winning the election. “I like popcorn a lot and I like what she enjoys doing, and her speech.”

Sifanne’s novel also involves food – in fact, a whole fruit society.

“The CEO is apparently a social icon who inspires others to live a healthy lifestyle,” Sifanne said, “but I’m going to kill him off.” When the CEO dies, it inspires the fruity society to find out the truth behind his disappearance. “The public is going to learn the truth that will be revealed by my protagonist.” As for that truth? You’ll just have to wait for Sifanne’s novel to come out.