The following sites may provide useful support for this study of Graphic novels:

Background to graphic novels:

IPL Teenspace
This is part of the IPL (Internet Public Library) Teenspace site and proivides some great background to graphic novels (including definitions) as well as links to other sites and resource suggestions. A useful site for librarians, teachers and students

Wikipedia article
A useful look at both the definition and history of graphic novels (and comics). Provides some useful commentary from current practitioners regarding the "comic" versus "graphic novel" debate (including comments by Jeff Smith and Neil Gaiman). Provides useful links to other sites, too.

Curriculum issues - why we should consider graphic novels:

Going graphic: Using graphic novels to engage boys in school reading An intriguing article looking at an action research project in an Australian school focussed on the use of the graphic novel version of Macbeth in an English classroom. Demonstrates the increase in quality and quantity of engagement with graphic novels. (Laycock, D 2007, Access, vol. 21, no. 1, pp13-17) (Di Laycock kindly gave permission for this link to her blog's post to be provided).

Graphic novels: The kapow factor A scholarly article considering why graphic novels should be considered for inclusion in the curriculum. The references also make for interesting reading. (Laycock, D 2008, conference paper, 2008 ISASA Librarians’ Conference). (Di Laycock kindly gave permission for this link to be provided).

Graphic novels: Different texts for different times (2009 SLAV presentation notes) This is Di Laycock's inspiring presentation which she has kindly allowed to be added here - as a link to her blog's post about graphic novels.

Lesson Ideas:

using_graphic_cover.JPG Using Graphic Novels in the Classroom
This provides a link from the Scholastic site to a downloadable pdf document entitled "Using Graphic Novels in the Classroom" - in an appealing graphic format. It provides a neat summary of the value of using graphic novels for text study and references to Jeff Smith's series "Bone". Useful, especially for librarians who may need to convince their teacher colleagues about the merits of graphic novels. Useful definitions with links to American samples. From this same Scholastic site there are also links to a library created site with recommendations about graphic novels (including Shaun Tan's "The Arrival"). American sources which give a useful guide to the breadth of the medium.

image_of_site.jpg The Secret Origin of Good Readers
This provides a link on the Night Flight Comics site to a very useful resource book entitled "The Secret Origin of Good Readers" which teachers and librarians are permitted to download (for personal use - worksheets are permitted to be copied - the guidelines are clearly explained on the site). Provides extensive ideas for using graphic novels in the classroom for a wide range of exciting purposes. A great, free resource - so please follow the guidelines. The resources and links are American based.

From the perspective of the creator:

Shaun Tan's "The Arrival"
Shaun Tan's webiste is a delight for any student, teacher or librarian - especially if they are interested in the art of illustration. Midway through his discussion on "The Arrival", Shaun Tan explains why he considers the work to be a graphic novel rather than a picture book which might be useful when defining the medium. Tan also outlines the research that he undertook on comics and manga to learn more about the artform. A wonderful insight from one of Australia's top illustrators.

Inside a dog
This is the website created by the Centre for Youth Literature (State Library of Victoria). A search for "graphic novels" may only reveal a few hits but they are worthwhile - most lead to discussions from authors who are writers in residence on the site, either discussing their reading of graphic novels (eg Tim Pegler) or how some of their books are to be turned into graphic novels (eg Garth Nix). Writer in residence in November, 2009 is Mariko Tamaki, author of the award winning (and Inky contender) "Skim". As there are not many reviews of graphic novels on this site as yet, this might provide a good opportunity for students to contribute (as an activity for this unit).

This is the website of Jeff Smith, creator of "Bone". It is an appealing site for students who are interested in comics and graphic novels (both as readers and as illustrators) or in the "Bone" series. Also has links to useful notes from the scholastic site (mentioned above). A good site to include on a school library blog.
This is a comic website from the UK - includes instructions on how to create your own comic - and other fun stuff

Doug Wright Awards
This is the site which announces the awards for graphic novels in Canada. "Skim" was a worthy recipient in 2009.

Building the collection:
Developing a graphic novel collection An excellent article examining the many issues surrounding the development of a graphic novel collection in the school library (selection, policy development, display etc). (Laycock, D 2005, Synergy, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 50-54). (Di Laycock kindly gave permission for this link to be provided to a post on her blog).

Sealight Books
A reliable Australian source of graphic novels, especially for libraries and schools. Website includes some useful articles about the benefits of studying graphic novels in schools. Provides summaries describing the graphic novels they supply and opportunities to subscribe to regular newsletters.

The Stacks
This provides a link to the "Books and Authors" section of The Stacks, part of the Scholastic site, which links to an appealing presentation of the latest graphic novels available from Scholastic publishers. Hovering the cursor over the illustrated covers provides a description of the book so this could be a good site to include on a library blog. Includes links to classic graphic novels such as "Bone".

ALA Recommendations
Always useful to see what other library associations are recommending - Shaun Tan's graphic novel "The Arrival" featured on this site


McCLOUD, Scott, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, (New York, HarperPerennial, 1993) 978 0 06 097625 5
As the title suggests, this is a great introduction to comics from a practitioner of this art form, Scott McCloud. Whilst the focus is on comics - much of what is described here can also be usefully applied to graphic novels, too. Set out in graphic novel format, with black and white illustrations, this book provides a great starting point for learning about the key facets involved in the creation of graphic novels. A must read for teachers and librarians and could be interesting for many students, too. Read a review here.

SPILSBURY, Richard, Comics and Graphic Novels, (Oxford, Heinemann Library, 2007) 978 0 431 01472 2
An attractive and easy to read book with lots of brief information about graphic novels and loads of illustrations. Should be popular with students. Teachers and librarians will find useful the glossary, bibliography and website addresses provided at the back of the book.

IRVINE, Alex, The Vertigo Encyclopedia, (London, Dorling Kindersley, 2008) 978 1 40532 890 6
A beautiful, glossy record of the amazing array of comics and graphic novels which have been published over the years under the Vertigo label. Includes descriptions of the background to each creation, plot lines and character analyses. Beautiful illustrations abound. A wonderful book for enthusiasts to enjoy.

McCARTHY, Helen, 500 Manga Heroes and Villains, (London, Collins & Brown, 2006) 1 84340 234 3
A wonderful book which provides an intriguing definition of manga as well as outlining its history and significance in Japan (and elswhere). While the focus is on characters from manga, there is a significant focus on key manga artists as well. So this work not only offers some useful info for this unit but also, it is likely to appeal more broadly to many students, especially due to the attractive layout and numerous glossy pics.