Talking comics at the Society of Authors’ New Visions conference

New Visions logoChildren’s author extraordinaire Candy Gourlay has provided a brilliant write up of this weekend’s New Visions Conference, organised by the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group of the Society of Authors. It includes a summary of the comics panel I was invited to take part in, alongside comic artists and writers John Aggs, Emma Vieceli and Paul Duffield, hosted by Patrice Aggs.

As well as summarising some of the main points from the session (see below), Candy also posted this brilliant photo of us having a bit of a giggle as we chatted (and obviously sipped water!)

John, Emma, Me and Paul

Here are the pointers that Candy took from the session:


1. A graphic novel is not a novel with pictures or a film with dialogue. The comic camera does not move eg. a character in a comic cannot roll his eyes

2. Remember that the artist has to interpret what you’re saying so think in Action Points.

3. Do not carry all the plot with words

4. Comics is about pacing. Your reader will read faster or slower depending on how you plan your panels. Eg. Beano comics move quickly with small panels. Some graphic novels have big splashes every few pages. The larger the panel, the longer you look at it.

5. Ask yourself: What is the point of this comic panel?

6. Think of what has to be drawn. Eg. “Don’t say: ‘10,000 soldiers swept over the hill’ … that will take weeks to draw!”

7. Think about page turns – if you have big moments and reveals, make sure they appear at a page turn. Don’t allow them to land on the right hand page.

Check out the rest of Candy’s post for her full report on the weekend. 

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