Maggie Thrash is the author of Honor Girl, a new graphic novel which I just read and reviewed on the blog. I welcome her as part of the blog tour for this amazing new graphic novel. Below, she has written a bit on why she chose to write the story as a graphic novel. Stay tuned for a giveaway at the end of the post!
I knew I wanted to use a graphic format to tell this story because it’s a very personal one, and I needed to be objective about myself. Comics give me that ability; to me they feel much more authentic and efficient than just using words. Comics allow you to zoom out of the mud and muck of your perspective and see a larger picture.
People may or may not be surprised to learn that I have never taken an art class. I think graphic novels can seem a little intimidating—a people assume you need some sort of art credential to create one. I can tell you that you don’t! I mean, it’s definitely challenging. The learning curve is steep. It’s very puzzle-like, getting all the panels to fit together in a way that makes sense, emphasizes the right moments, has some degree of cohesion, and keeps you turning the page. I studied the Scott Pilgrim books by Bryan Lee O’Malley very closely to figure out how to do this. It’s a great series. The art is dynamic but super functional, and all the facial expressions are spot-on. I think reading Scott Pilgrim fifty times is probably more valuable than an Intro to Graphic Concepts course.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of how my art evolved while I was working on this project. My initial draft was entirely black and white. I was so intimidated by color, I just didn’t even want to deal with it.
I have a hard time identifying as an “artist,” because I feel like artists make artistic choices, whereas I’m just doing the best I can to produce what I see in my head with my limited ability. And of course that is art. But it’s not like I could do stunning still life, or an anatomically accurate figure drawing. It’s ironic that I’m saying that, though, because practically the entire message of HONOR GIRL is that you never really know what you’re capable of, so don’t hold yourself back. I guess I should probably listen to my own advice. 🙂
About Honor Girl
Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She’s from Atlanta, she’s never kissed a guy, she’s into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment. A split-second of innocent physical contact pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counselor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl, and Maggie’s savant-like proficiency at the camp’s rifle range is the only thing keeping her heart from exploding. When it seems as if Erin maybe feels the same way about Maggie, it’s too much for both Maggie and Camp Bellflower to handle, let alone to understand.
About Maggie Thrash
Maggie Thrash is a staff writer for Rookie, a popular online magazine for teenage girls. This is her first book. She lives in Delaware.
HONOR GIRL. Copyright © 2015 by Maggie Thrash. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.
Thanks to Candlewick Press, three lucky winners will receive a copy of Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash.
US addresses only.
Giveaway ends on September 20th.
Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.