Adventures in Cartooning
Written & Illustrated by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost
Published by First Second
James Sturm started the Center for Cartoon Studies several years ago, so it’s really not a surprise that he teamed up with two former students to create a book designed to teach children how to create their own comics.
Adventures in Cartooning begins with a knight seeking adventure, a dragon to slay, while standing against a blank white backdrop. With the aid of the Magic Cartooning Elf, the knight quickly grasps the precepts of panels and word balloons, horizontal and vertical movement, and the most basic aspects of illustration. The pair, with the knight’s sweet-toothed horse Edward, journey forth, overcoming giant walls, impassable oceans, and the depths of a whale’s stomach as part of their quest. Sprinkled throughout the engaging adventure, the knight applies the principles of cartooning to overcome each setback and continue to the dragon’s island lair.
With an upbeat sense of humor, as well as obvious and subtle embedded lessons, Adventures in Cartooning manages to be entertaining and educational. The creators’ minimalist designs are easy for youngster to reproduce, and the large panels, bright colors and amusing banter entice you into the characters and their quest.
And better yet, the team reunites this fall for the Adventures in Cartooning Activity Book. Time to put all those lessons to work, kids!