Tag Archives: james sturm

Quick Hit: Cartooning and Comics for the Kids

adventures cover

James Sturm and two of his former students, Alexis Frederick-Frost and Andrew Arnold, have created Adventures in Cartooning: How to Turn Your Doodles Into Comics.  Here’s the official description:

In this action-packed cartooning adventure, kids will have as much fun making comics as reading them!

Once upon a time . . . a princess tried to make a comic.  And with the help of a magical cartooning elf, she learned how – well enough to draw her way out of an encounter with a dangerous dragon, near-death by drowning, and into her very own adventure!  Like the princess, young readers will discover that they already have the drawing and writing skills it takes to make a comic – they just need a little know-how.  And Adventures in Cartooning supplies just that.


Here’s what Booklist has to say about it:

Not quite a how-to book, as the cover might suggest, this is rather a stupendous new high for children’s graphic novels, spearheaded by comics maestro Sturm (Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow, 2007). Ostensibly, this is the adventure of an eager knight, a sweet-toothed horse, and a magic elf hunting down a gum-chewing dragon, and those reading for the adventure itself will not be disappointed, filled as it is with humor, action, and a great girl-empowering twist. But along the way, lessons in the language of sequential art are woven seamlessly into the narrative, explaining the basics of how elements such as panels and word balloons work, while concluding bonus features offer specifics on terminology (like gutters and stems) and common symbols (like speed lines). Newcomers Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost, using varying page compositions to keep the sizable volume visually captivating, have constructed a tale that works just as well as a read-aloud for the very young as it does a lesson for everyone from fans of the form to the wholly uninitiated. As an examination of the medium, it’s a supremely worthy spiritual legacy to Scott McCloud’s seminal Understanding Comics (1993). As a straight-up graphic adventure, it may be the best of the year.

Grab a copy for your little one (or yourself) here.

James Sturm gives a preview of Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow

sturm’s paige sample

James Sturm, illustrator and head of The Center for Cartoon Studies, is offering a fantastic preview of his upcoming work Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow. You can look at illustration drafts, see sample pages from the finished work, and read an interview with Sturm. Here’s an excerpt:

How did you settle on Satchel Paige as a subject?

Satchel Paige was the suggestion of Brenda Bowen who was the instigator of this series of books. I love American history and Paige’s life certainly highlights several compelling and tragic aspects of the American experience. I’ve always been fascinated by the Negro Leagues and the obstacles that those players faced on and off the ball field.

Rather than present a straightforward biography of Satchel Paige, the book creates a story about Emmet Wilson, a Black Alabama sharecropper of the 1930s, for whom Satchel Paige becomes a major touchstone. What made you decide to take this approach?

Paige did a great job of mythologizing himself and it was hard to separate the facts of his life from the fiction. And in the end, I didn’t want to. What was important to me, and what I decided I wanted the book to be about, was the impact he had on society and those that followed his career.

Read the complete interview here and also stop by Drawn!, who gave us the heads up about this exciting resource.

(Image by James Sturm)