“A dizzying, evocative reflection of restless youth”

Graphic novelist Dash Shaw’s film My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea is “a darkly comedic and crude animated comedy.” Shaw’s exciting animated film from the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival is now looking for distribution.

My Entire High School Sinking into the SeaCheck out Kate Erbland’s IndieWire interview with Dash Shaw, done by Kate Erbland. Shaw says, “The first time that I saw that I could make gifs in Photoshop, that you could line up images and that Photoshop could arrange them in short animations, I thought, ‘Oh!’ The scanner is right here. The tools are very accessible. I don’t need a multi-plane camera the way Disney needed a camera. I have a scanner, I can make an animation with the same tools that I use to make comics.”

Eric Kohn’s review of My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea said: “Every image in graphic novelist Dash Shaw’s animated feature delivers a dizzying, evocative reflection of restless youth. At the same time, it remains grounded in a familiar world of geeky teens, smarmy upperclassmen and disgruntled school administrators.”

Kohn continues, “…the visual approach fuses lively watercolors with flowing black ink, silhouetted figures and paper cutouts into a collage of personal expression.”

“The movie felt successful when we finished drawing it,” says Shaw, “like ‘I can’t believe we actually pulled this together.’ That had maybe the biggest wave of feeling, excited or kind of sitting back like, ‘Wow’.”

Starting a comic or graphic novel

Interested in writing a comic or a graphic novel? Here’s a helpful article from Jason Brubaker on the Making Comics website.

Jason Brubaker sketch
Credit: Jason Brubaker

One point:  “Start with an idea that you really believe in and want to share with others. This is important. It takes dedication to make a graphic novel so you really need to love and believe in what you are trying to say or do.”

That’s a great bit of advice for a writer in any media. You will spend many hours, many months on your project. Believe in it from the start. It will carry you through to publication.


A Writer Shapes an Image, a Story

A writer shapes an image, a story, with words. Other artists create stories that are perhaps more visual, more touchable. Here are several artists who caught my eye this past week. I hope the images inspire your writing.

Sculptor Steven Whyte, based in Carmel, California, works in clay and bronze.

Steven Whyte works on an MLK sculpture.
Steven Whyte works on an MLK sculpture.


Sal Polisi, who died in January, was a master wood carver who worked at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City.


master woodcarver Sal Polisis
Master woodcarver Sal Polisi
Credit: Michelle V. Agins/The NYT


And comic book expert Scott McCloud has just published his first full-length graphic novel titled The Sculptor.