Graphic Novel

Step 3: Copy drawing onto substrate

If you are illustrating a graphic story, you don’t want your characters just standing around stiff…you want to depict them in as much action as the situation requires. This is visual story telling. Illustrating a graphic story requires an artist to follow good passionate writing, and have the characters to act out the scene. If the prose is passionate, an artist’s greatest challenge is to bring the character to life on the page. If possible, the characters should always be doing something. It is not so much as having them act as it is having them to over act.


“Let gravity take part! Swing for the fences! Let the hair fly. Let the hero roar. Let the bad guy feel the burn! See the difference the little details make?” -Stan Lee

“His mama was the maid for old man Pearson, and she’d take Willie Joe with her to work.” -Granny Weena

My most recent works is creating a narrated slide show graphic story set historically in 1897 in South Carolina where two young people (seventeen years old) fall in love, and the girl becomes pregnant. They had been friends from childhood. She is from a wealthy white family. He is from a sharecropping black family. I do not need to say a lot more.

“They were the best of friends, playing together, laughing, cuttin’ up ever so…I thinks they fell in love when little bitties.” -Granny Weena




This story was originally intended to be a short prologue introducing a mystery story set in 1957 where a famous detective was brought to South Carolina to solve a crime where a young white man was found hanged. The locals in the small town were not concerned. To them it was normal. Hangings of male members from four particular families had been happening in the small town of Delia about every twenty years for the past sixty years. They said it was just the curse of a young black who was hanged in 1897.


However, the short prologue became a 25 page short story with a lot of action. This is what I am attempting to illustrate.

Three years later, when she was almost eighteen, she came back. Sure ‘nough, they was right back down to the old Pearson bridge picnicking.
One minute she was eating a sandwich fully dressed…”
“As young teens, they were slipping off to the old Pearson bridge, and having innocent picnics. Old man Pearson began suspecting something, and sent Mary Lee off to finishing school”











“Willy Joe, he ain’t sittin’ still for that…uh uh…next thing you know, they be down at the water skinny dipping. Shame!
“…and the next minute she was standing in front of Willie Joe butt naked, and tempting him to go skinny dipping! She taunted him, saying, Last one in the water is a MULES PATOOT!!!”


“Lawd…lawd…It’s a sinnin’ shame what they did, but now with all this horrible tragedy, I don’t know who got the worst end of the stick…Willie Joe or Mary Lee. They both be so sweet. They only did what come natural. They was in love!


“Yeah, they be skinny dippin’ alright, but that not be all the dippin’ Willie Joe be doing that day…uh uh…he know’d better’n what he be doin’.”

















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The above is a fictional story set in the 1890s. The morays and PC correctness was different than our present time. They are depicted in the frame of mind as assumed by the author based on historic understanding.

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