BAM! It’s a Picture Book: The Art Behind Graphic Novels

BAM! It’s a Picture Book: The Art Behind Graphic Novels features five of today’s award winning graphic artists: Mark Crilley, Matthew Holm, Jerrett J. Krosoczka, Lincoln Peirce and Raina Telgemeier. Their bestselling picture books explore a wide range of life experiences, aspirations, challenges and fantasy relevant to teen life.  Parents, school, friends and romance are themes that run through stories filled with memorable characters, drama and humor. This exhibition presents 80 original illustrations used for publication.

Graphic novels have gained immense popularity and respect in recent years to a diverse and expanded audience. According to the American Library Association, graphic novels are among the fastest growing categories in publishing and bookselling. The cave paintings of ages past and hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt were the first examples of storytelling through pictures. The dawn of the Industrial Age saw the beginning of the graphic novel as a format of entertainment. The first major graphic novel, The Adventures of Obdiah Oldbuck, was published in the U.S. in 1842. The first collected edition of The Yellow Kid cartoons in book form (published in 1897) is recognized as the first financially successful graphic novel. Last century saw the popular DC Comic heroes emerge: Superman, Batman, and Marvel Comic’s Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and X-Man.

Today’s graphic novels are more varied in content than their early counterparts and also have a new level of respectability. In recent years, graphic novels have been the subject of scholarly studies, a choice for museum exhibitions, and the Pulitzer Prize - awarded in 1992 to Art Spiegelman’s Maus.

This exhibition was organized by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Abilene, Texas.
 

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

Matthew Holm
Matthew Holm was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He grew up reading to his four older siblings the comic books and comic strip collections, and hoped he might one day grow up to draw a daily newspaper comic strip. While studying English and Art at Pennsylvania State University, he drew weekly editorial cartoons for the school newspaper. After college, he worked in New York City as a writer and editor for Hearst’s Country Living Magazine, and drew a daily web comic in his spare time (before the term “web comic” really existed). He began working with his sister, Jennifer, as a copy editor and fact-checker for her Boston Jane novels. Later, he illustrated several pages of comics for her book Middle School Is Worse than Meatloaf. When Jenni went to him in 2001 with the idea of making a comic book with a female heroine named Babymouse, he again picked up his pen and the two worked out the ideas for what became one of the first graphic novel series written specifically for children. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and dog.
 

Mark Crilley
Mark Crilley is the author and illustrator of several graphic novel and prose fiction book series, Akiko, Billy Clikk, Miki Falls, Brody’s Ghost, and Mastering Manga. Crilley has been nominated thirteen times for the prestigious Eisner award. Raised in Detroit, Michigan, Crilley began drawing almost as soon as he could hold a pencil in his hand. Since being selected for Entertainment Weekly’s “It List” in 1998, Crilley has spoken at hundreds of venues throughout the world and become one of YouTube’s “Top 25 Most Subscribed Gurus,” creating drawing demonstration videos that have been viewed more than 60 million times. His work has been featured in USA Today, the New York Daily News and Disney Adventures magazine, as well as on Comcast On Demand and CNN Headline News. Crilley lives with his wife, Mikki and two children in Novi, Michigan.
 

Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Jarrett J. Krosoczka is a two-time winner of the Children’s Choice Book Award for the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year, and is author and illustrator of twenty books including the Lunch Lady graphic novel series and the just released Platypus Police Squad. Jarrett’s TED Talk on his journey from boy to artist can be viewed on the TED website. He is also the host of The Book Report with JJK on Sirius XM’s Kids’ Place Live, a twice-a-month segment celebrating authors, books and reading. His work has been recommended by NPR, Newsweek, The New York Times and USA Today. Krosoczka’s Punk Farm picture book and Lunch Lady series are in development as feature films. Krosoczka lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife, two daughters and their dog, Ralph Macchio.


Lincoln Peirce
Lincoln Peirce is a cartoonist/writer and New York Times bestselling author of the Big Nate book series. He is also the creator of the comic strip Big Nate, which appears in more than three hundred U.S. newspapers and online daily at www.gocomics.com/bignate. Lincoln’s boyhood idol was Charles Schulz of Peanuts fame, but his main inspiration for Big Nate has always been his own experience as a sixth grader. Like Nate, Lincoln loves comics, ice hockey, and cheez doodles (and dislikes cats, figure skating, and egg salad). His Big Nate books have been featured on Good Morning America and in The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and The Washington Post. Lincoln has also written for Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. He lives with his wife and two children in Portland, Maine.


Raina Telgemeier
Raina Telgemeier grew up in San Francisco and moved to New York City, where she earned an illustration degree at the School of Visual Arts. Her most recent graphic novel DRAMA was published to rave reviews and quickly became a New York Times bestseller. SMILE, her critically acclaimed graphic memoir based on her childhood, was a #1 New York Times bestseller and winner of the Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens, and received a Boston Globe-Horn Book honor. Raina also adapted and illustrated SISTERS, a companion to SMILE, which was published by Graphix / Scholastic in 2014. She lives in Astoria, New York, with her husband and fellow comics artist, Dave Roman.

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute #1 Hooded figure

Sandy and the Surfriders

Sandy and the Surfriders

Lincoln Peirce

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Your new homeroom

Lincoln Peirce

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BabyMouse Queen of the World (cover)

Matthew Holm

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Ticker Tape Parade

Matthew Holm

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Hooded figure (cover)

Mark Crilley

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Mike standing in snow (cover)

Mark Crilley

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Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute #1 (cover sketch)

Jarrett J. Krosoczka

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Lunch Lady and the Picture Day Peril #8

Jarrett J. Krosoczka

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