WILL & WHIT Book Review

In Laura Lee Gulledge‘s first graphic novel we got to meet a young artist discovering New York for the first time, the semi-autobiographical tale introduced us to Paige a determined woman in a big city making new friends and surviving obstacles. For her second feature Will & Whit, Laura goes a little further back in her semi-autobio while combining some of the events with more recent catastrophes to tell a more coming of age story about lifelong friends, the power of family in all forms, and letting go of your past to mark the future along.

Through only two full length tales and a variety of one page and short stories not seen in many markets, Laura has quickly established herself as someone who just intrinsically understands how to tell tales through sequential storytelling. Most amazingly she comes at not with a strict comics background though. As her time in the world of comics have quickly made her a favorite among fan and creator alike, it’s not where she bit her teeth. Window displays, set design, pure illustration, performance art, and more, Laura is truly versatile artist with a powerful voice.

Will & Whit focuses on a small town about to be hit by a hurricane while many young people are enjoying the summer and preparing for a small performance carnival in an abandoned structure. The protagonist Will is a sculptor of sorts, working in a thrift store and building lamps, haunted by shadows that seem to be memories. Will hasn’t had the easiest life, but all is not revealed to us till book’s end. Instead we get swept up in her teenage drama of love, friendship, triangles, creativity and going down the river.

WILL & WHIT officially came out on May 7th, 2013, but tonight (May 15th, 2013) at Housing Works Book Store in New York City there’s an exciting book release with a reading, a preview of the work-in-progress play version of the book and more fun.

After that event an addendum shall be added to this article/review.

 

 

 

BBF11: Comics Quick Draw!

The first panel I attended at the 2011 Brooklyn Book Festival was titled “Comics Quick Draw!”. It featured three of my favorite writer/artists as well as people. Dave Roman, co-creator of Jax Epoch and a writer of Avatar-The Last Airbender comic stories, he is currently best known for his Astronaut Academy series and is working on a colored and collection edition his Teen Boat series with John Green. Raina Tegelmeier did the very successful comics adaptations of Babyistter’s Club and the Eiser Ward winning autobiographic SMILE, she is currently developing her next original graphic novel, a story taking place in middle grade. Laura Lee Gulledge has been a gallery artist and her first semi-autobiographic graphic novel Page by Paige came out in 2011, she is currently at work on her second graphic novel about a young girl named Wilhimina and the living shadows that surround her.

The Draw Off gathered a collective crowd of children, parents and adult fans and was moderated by Publisher’s Weekly’s Calvin Reid. There ended up being seven rounds, with the final round being called a Switcheroo. The first round had the artists all doing a different drawing, the next five rounds they all did their version of the same idea. The concepts came from the kids in the audience and I must say, these kids were both strange and a little morbid.

Following is a description of the drawings done and photos of the finished works.

ROUND ONE

Monkey drinking coffee on the subway by Raina Tegelmeier


Elastic Man by Laura Lee Gulledge (basketball addition hers)


A Cat and Mouse by Dave Roman (he totally twisted this)

ROUND TWO
Mutant Dog eating a rabbit


Laura Lee Gulledge


Dave Roman


Raina Tegelmeier

ROUND THREE
Alien on Mars eating bagels


Dave Roman


Raina Tegelmeier


Laura Lee Gulledge

ROUND 4
Wizard on vacation at the beach


Laura Lee Gulledge


Dave Roman


Raina Tegelmeier

ROUND 5
Giant powdered donuts being pelted by sprinkles


Laura Lee Gulledge


Dave Roman


Raina Tegelmeier

ROUND 6
Cucumber jumping into lasagna


Raina Tegelmeier


Laura Lee Gulledge


Dave Roman

The Final round was called SWITCHEROO.  In one minute intervals for three minutes they would create three Jam drawings based on the same themes.  After much suggestions from the audiences and deliberation, the three things were Dragon, Hippo, Catwalk.

Here are the three pieces created by Dave, Laura and Raina together with some Photoshopping (like some other pieces in this article) from yours truly.