Graphic Novel Rec #10: Maker Comics: Draw a Comic!

Creator: JP Coovert

Publisher: First Second Comics

When Andrea Bell mentioned that her next project was an installment of the Maker Comics, I realized I had never read anything from the Makers Comics series. This was something I needed to rectify immediately. I scanned over the topics included in the Makers Comics series; Fix a Car!, Bake Like a Pro!, Grow a Garden! and then I spied Draw a Comic! I think the ending writes itself.

Makers Comics: Draw a Comic! by JP Coovert was a delight to read. As I was reading this book, I had Melissa Stewart’s Five Kinds of Nonfiction in mind. I don’t have Melissa’s expertise in nonfiction, but Draw a Comic! feels like a hybrid text to me, a mix of informational fiction and active nonfiction.

The active nonfiction parts were my favorite. Draw a Comic! includes 5 comic book activities that are connected with a fictional narrative (that’s the informational fiction part.) The way that Coovert uses the images in the panels and the dialogue of the characters to give clear, step-by-step directions is something to admire. His clarity of storytelling and teaching is something I strive for.

I learned SO much from this text. I finally know what the T square I own is for! I also know I’ll be purchasing a long-reach stapler in the near future. (No idea what I’m talking about? Read the book to find out!)

If you’re teaching the TCRWP writing unit that Hareem Atif Khan (@hareematifkhan) and I wrote called Graphic Novels: Writing in Pictures and Words, I highly recommend this text as an additional resource. (…and before you ask, No, the unit hasn’t been published yet. Last I heard from Heinemann, 2023 was the expected release year.)

To wrap up, I’m excited to check out another Maker Comics book to see if they all live up to the quality of work of JP Coovert. Perhaps I should check out a topic in which I’m novice? Fix a Car! perhaps? I truly enjoyed Coovert’s cartooning and I can’t wait to read more of his work. So I checked out his website to order more of his work (and MAYBE a Rex I love comics pin). You should too!

Teaching Considerations:

  • Genre: Nonfiction, but if you want to specific…hybrid text: informational fiction & active NF
  • Units of Study: nonfiction, active fiction, how-to, comic book/graphic novel
  • Grades: Fourth Grade, Fifth Grade, Middle School

Published by Eric Hand

I'm an educator and literacy professional with a long-standing passion for comic books and graphic novels.

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