Mentors for Graphic Novel Writing: Arc Dogs & Broken Summer

After reading Maker Comics: Make a Comic! I checked out JP Coovert’s website to see what else he had to offer and I’m SO glad I did! I think that both Arc Dogs and Broken Summer could be incredible mentor texts for anyone taking on graphic novel writing with their students right now or even next school year.

You can see me talk about these books in the video below or read the write up underneath.

These comics will be accessible mentors for kids for a few reasons.

  1. They’re only about 20 pages long. This length feels less forboding than using a 100 page graphic novel as a mentor.
  2. They’re black & white. It will be wonderful for kids to see that a comic book does not have to have color to be engaging and clearly tell a story.
  3. The story focuses on four characters. Sometimes when kids are first starting their graphic novels, they want to create these epics that involve a cast of 20! Beginning with a more manageable cast might support writers in creating a clearer narrative.
  4. JP Coovert expertly uses the tools of the medium to tell this engaging story; he plays around with fonts to give characters voice, he changes up panel shapes to create a sense of action, and his cartooning creates personality in his characters through their facial expressions and body language.

I would guess Arc Dogs would be considered book one, so read it first. Broken Summer is an anthology of seven short stories that you read on their own, but together create a continuous narrative using the characters from Arc Dogs.

Written by Hand,


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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