Editor: Leonard S. Marcus
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre(s): Non-Fiction, Interviews
Review Spoilers: N/A
GoodReads | Amazon
We’re huge fans of graphic novels here at Nerdophiles and so we were very excited for the release of Comics Confidential. Comics Confidential appears to take it’s cue in part from the 1988 documentary Comic Book Confidential, which profiled some of the iconic creators of the time. Comics Confidential does something similar with a sampling of thirteen graphic novelists working in the industry today.
You’ll probably recognize a lot of their names:
- Harry Bliss
- Catia Chien
- Geoffrey hayes
- Kazu Kibuishi
- Hope Larson
- Danica Novgorodoff
- Matt Phelan
- Dave Roman
- Mark Siegel & Siena Cherson Siegel
- James Sturm
- Sara Varon
- Gene Luen Yang
The interviews were conducted over the last few years and are really wonderful to read. Each person is asked a series of questions not just about their work but also about their childhoods and backgrounds as well. They talk with Leonard Marcus about how they developed their artistic ability and how they became interested in art as a career.
All of them come from different backgrounds and, for some, art may not have been their first career choice. But in the end they found their way to embracing graphic novels and becoming the creators we all know and love today.
Each of the interviews is joined by an original short comic prepared by the graphic novelists for this volume. The general theme centers around the idea of “the city,” but each of the different artists takes that theme and makes it their own. They also provided their own self-portraits for the book as well, which I think is probably one of the coolest things about Comics Confidential.
Comics Confidential is very well written and would be perfect for younger readers and is not only informative but also has the potential to widen their horizons as far as reading comics goes. It would make a formidable companion to Brian Michael Bendis’ Words for Pictures. And it’s a great non-fiction alternative for kids who are already obsessed with comics and graphic novels!
Hearing these stories will hopefully be inspiring to some readers – especially young readers. As much as some people love reading graphic novels, they may not see them as a possible career route. Comics Confidential will give them a fantastic opportunity to really see where their favorite graphic novelists came from and to see the paths they took to get where they are today. All of them were kids, too, once upon a time and knowing that will hopefully encourage them to embrace their own creative endeavors!