Friday, November 21, 2008

I'll Take "The Duckbilled Platitude" for $400, Alex

I am an independent graphic novelist interested in representation. I am currently being featured in Elan (, Northern Virginia Magazine ( and Voces Del Caribe (, a Cuny College sponsored e-zine. These works focus on metaphysical questions of man’s creation, fall and redemption. I wish to spark debate specifically among parents and their children and/or educators and their students regarding three major themes:

- Man’s creation and his potential within reality.
- Physicality Vs. Conscious/Ethereal existence.
- The place of Law/Rule Vs. upholding ideals- which negate the necessity of rule.
This feels like Jeopardy!. Am I supposed to guess the question?

Ok, let's see:
"What are concepts too abstract for children?"


Deirdre Mundy said...

I don't think they're too difficult for kids... if you have an appropriate story that deals with some of these themes instead of whacking them on the head with them.

For instance, an interesting creation myth retold and illustrated.

Or a book where a character has to break a rule to save a friend.

These are really big themes, and they could be hinted at in a picture book.

I'd be more worried about the stilted writing style and the didacticism........

(And I'll turn in my synopsis this weekend! It's just really hard to boil my favorite books down into 150 words and not leave anything out while preserving the tone! I was trying to do Howl's Moving Castle... maybe I'll switch to an easier one...)

SWILUA said...


SWILUA said...

(that was supposed to be a laugh. but it looked snarkier than I meant it to. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Oh come on. Half the adults reading this blog won't understand the concepts, let alone any children.

And... graphic art and high literary pretensions - together? Puhleease.

Cool for adults, no argument there, but I'm thinking the kids will be looking for the superhero.

ggwritespoetry said...

Yikes! Who took my dictionary?

Deirdre Mundy said...

Oh, come on, Anon... there are ways to handle these (I'm not saying EA's correspondent wants to, but...)

Physicality vs. Consciousness... wouldn't that old Halloween "brains and eyeballs" game address this?

I would think the BIGGER concern was that the writer doesn't seem to grasp the language of picture books.

Anonymous said...

To Deirdre's point ... Look at the themes and ideas that Jon Muth's ZEN SHORTS books tackle successfully. I know a boy who absolutely loved the first book at three or four.

St├ęphane K said...

Alex does seem to be prolix (wordy), but I won't venture to guess why that is.

But if you want a graphic artist that really deals with the metaphysics of life, I would guide you to Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson. Classic! Kids love the comics and adults devour them.

Anonymous said...

I don't think they're too difficult for kids...

REALLY???? How about too damn boring for kids?

Ebony McKenna. said...

Because you're not allowed to enjoy reading for the sheer pleasure of it, every book has to be worthy.

Anonymous said...

What a horrible, HORRIBLE way to 'spark debate.' I'm a pretentious art-type myself, and even I don't want to talk metaphysics after such a sterile pitch.

Write a story, draw a comic (maybe even WITH superheroes, I dare you) give me a context, and then we'll have something to talk about.

Also, stop calling yourself a graphic novelist. It only means you're ashamed to draw comics.

Adrienne said...

I got this exact same email. Advertising spam. The author of it doesn't even ask a question, merely tells you what it is he writes with convenient links to his websites.

Nonetheless, Anon, graphic novelists are legit, and the title is perfectly acceptable. Graphic novels are a bit different from comics, as are the way they are put into production. It may sound pretentious, but the genre has exploded recently and it truly is its own unique form of art.

Dal Jeanis said...

De gut newz is -

He'z de won dot draws de pikchures, not de won dot writes de wurdz.

Ver' gut newz.

(Sorry - I've been catching up on my Genius Girl.)

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