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The Making of a Graphic Novel: The Resonator Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill (January 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823030539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823030538
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,623,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For anyone curious about how graphic novels are made—not just how they're conceived, but how they're turned from an idea into inked Bristol-board completion—Rollins's book is the one to buy and read. Rollins, a professional comic-book artist who has "worked on virtually every character in the DC Universe," is an earnest, easy-to-understand adviser who's generous with his insights about craft and techniques. What makes this such a useful guide is that it's also a flip book: read one side, and you get a clear account of how Rollins puts together his graphic novel; turn the book over, and you can read the work he's created, a science fiction story set in a future where people no longer sleep. (Rollins suggests that you read the graphic novel first—that way, the how-to section is easier to follow.) It's a clever conceit, privileging neither component. The Resonator is drawn in exquisite, techno-heavy detail, with lush textures whose secrets are explained in the book's other half. The "making of" portion of the book is likewise lavishly illustrated with working drafts, thumbnails and extensive information on pens, lettering and other shortcuts of the trade. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up–Taking place in a cold, distant future where humans have evolved past the need for sleep (but where sleep is still sought after and even sold on the black market as a kind of drug), The Resonator tells of a man who seeks to find the strength to do extraordinary things. The titular object is actually a normal house cat that has the power to induce sleep in humans without drugs. The political atmosphere of Rollinss world is typical of much current sci-fi–a faceless corporation has control over the universe and most people are in its thrall. It uses humans as nonstop working machines, and sleep, although supposedly evolved out of the collective gene pool, is highly prized. The Resonator at times reads like a throwback to the American pulp sci-fi stories of the 1950s and 60s and its format is reminiscent of comic-book adaptations of Ray Bradburys work. Its an intelligent science-fiction story that will be appreciated by older comic-book readers as well as fans of hard sci-fi writers. The Making of a Graphic Novel, the other half of the book, offers 70 pages on everything from the story to the artwork and lettering. A strong purchase for genre fans.–Steev Baker, Kewaskum Public Library, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a longtime fan of serious graphic storytelling, and an aspiring writer of a graphic novel script, I picked this up to learn the nuts and bolts of how long-form graphic stories are put together. The book is a great "how-to" concept -- the idea is that you read Rollins' 100-page sci-fi graphic novel "The Resonator", and then you flip the book and read about how he created it. You could certainly skip the graphic novel, but the "how-to" information is much richer and clearer if you don't.

In general, I tend to like either really simple and clean or really detailed and complex artwork, and Rollins is definitely in the latter camp. The book is a visual treat, as he painstakingly evokes the crumbling, jerry-rigged components of distant future space living. The story itself is a mixed salad of some very imaginative ideas along with some more familiar ones. It follows a uranium miner named Bronsen as he seeks to escape his stultifying life by using a illegal "resonator" to sleep and dream. In this future, mankind has evolved out of the need for sleep, and sleep becomes a kind of luxury good, strictly controlled by the megacorporation that governs all of mankind. The revelation as to what the resonator is is outstanding, and Bronsen's dream sequences are a brilliant contrast to his waking life. However, the "what is a dream and what is reality?" nature of the conclusion was a tired sci-fi theme long before "The Matrix" trilogy milked the final dregs from it. And stories in which a megacorp rises to rule over all humanity have always struck me as rather lazy. Ditto for the circular concept that these spaceships are kept running on a constant search for uranium, but the only use for the uranium is to power the ships. Nonetheless, on the whole, it's a graphic novel well worth one's time.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Keener on June 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
Kudos to Prentis Rollins. First, for a fascinating if somewhat cerebral science fiction graphic novel, "The Resonator." Using his graphic novel, he shows by example the kind of depth that can be achieved via telling stories in the format of a graphic novel.

Second, flip the book over and he provides an extensive how-to text, "The Making of a Graphic Novel", in which he provides detailed information and tips on creating graphic novels, with lavish illustrations of pages at different stages, descriptions of tools, etc. Fascinating, as well as extremely useful for people interested in creating stories in this form, or for people who simply want more insight into the work that goes into the crafting of a graphic novel.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J.S. on May 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
Rollins is a really talented artist and his writing style is clear, engaging, and appealing. He provides lots of useful details for would-be graphic novelists and plenty of interesting personal anecdotes. The "flip book" structure is cool. I warmly recommend this book, even if you're not that into graphic novels!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Awesome and inspiring- if you are not into creating with ink, you will be after seeing this book! Rollins' message isn't a how-to-draw in the strictest sense, it is more like how to use ink to great effect. It reads to me more like one artist speaking to other artists about how he personally gets his results so you could try it too (imagine if a big-time comic inker was to sit and tell you his secrets and show you his sketches and his process- that is this book).
Essentially Rollins creates a graphic novel and takes you along for the ride. One cover of the book starts you into the graphic novel unfettered by the nonsense of the how-to part.. Then when you flip the book over, the instructional part of book is contained there. ( It does feel like two books in one.) The drawings and text are very helpful to get one started in figuring out how one might produce an intricately drawn graphic novel...and this book isn't by a johnny-come-lately or a wannabe novice, it is by a seasoned professional who has worked on major superhero titles. But don't let the whole superhero thing put you off- this is not a book about creating cookie-cutter superheroes. the graphic novel he completes and uses as an example throughout the book- "resonator"- is it's own futuristic decayed world and would be a fun, quick, and easy read ...except you can't help but linger on every last bit of his linework.. and trying to devour it with your eyes makes the story move at a more measured thoughtful pace.
You may have to add a few computer skills to this book to have a full set of tools at your disposal, but if working on paper with ink is at all interesting to you, this is a very stimulating book. it is always inspiring just to look at. It shows you Rollins' materials and how he gets from a concept to a finished work provoking you to hopefully do the same.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mumintrollet on June 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
I can't believe Rolilns didn't go blind drawing this GN. His style is SO detailed. And it's perfect for the story, which is about a future in which sleep is really a luxury. NO JOKE. Until the hero, Bronsen, accidentlly discovers a sleep machine, which you'll never guess what it is.

I also recommend "Survival Machine," a trade paperback from a couple years ago that he wrote/drew. It is worth hunting for.
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