30 in 30 - Day 0: Why Read 30 Graphic Novels in 30 Days? / by Frank Gogol

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Over at the Comics Experience Creators Workshop, there’s an annual reading challenge: read 30 graphic novels in 30 days (in November). Comics Experience head-honcho Andy Schmidt introduced this initiative in 2012 (before I had joined the workshop) and it’s had a strong showing each year since then.

I’ve always got a backlog of books I’d love to read, so a challenge like this creates an opportunity to chip away at that small mountain. In fact, I set out to do something very similar earlier this year--A Trade a Day in May—and I enjoyed the experience. So, I’m in.

30 in 30 – How Does It Work?

As I mentioned, I read a graphic novel every day of May 2017, but my only documentation consisted of almost daily Instagram posts. 30 in 30 has an additional component, though—a write-up for each graphic novel. Each write-up is to consist of:

  • Title:
  • Storytellers:
  • Publisher:
  • Year of Publication:
  • Page Count:
  • What I learned about Comic Book Writing / Storytelling
  • What I learned about Comic Book Art / Storytelling
  • Recommendation:
    • A (Must Read)
    • B (Entertaining, worth a read)
    • C (Runs the Bases, nothing more, nothing less)
    • D (Poorly Done, but there is learning here)
    • F (Poorly Done, don’t bother)
  • Notes/Review/Synopsis

Andy had made this part of the format to encourage Creators Workshop members to reflect on what they’ve read. Members joined the Workshop to learn about how to make comics and documenting and analyzing that 30 in 30 helps ensure that that learning occurs.

Normally, members share these writes internally in a thread on the Creators Workshop forums. In addition to posting them there, I’m posting them here for a couple of reasons. Firstly, these write-ups act as mini-reviews and thus could be beneficial to others. And secondly, as I did with A Trade a Day in May, I’d like to keep a public record. I think this challenge offers an opportunity for learning. So, in the spirit of passing along mindsets, skills, and advice for beginning comic book writers I plan to share my experience.

(For the purposes of these micro-blogs, I'm going to modify the format just a bit. They'll look about 90% similar to Andy's format, though.) 

The next 30 days begin…now.

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30 in 30 - Day 1: Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 11: The Spread of Their Evil
30 in 30 - Day 2: Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 11: One Girl in All the World
30 in 30 - Day 3: Nailbiter vol. 1
30 in 30 - Day 4: Promethea - Book One
30 in 30 - Day 5: 4 Kids Walk into a Bank
30 in 30 - Day 6: V for Vendetta
30 in 30 - Day 7: Battlefields - Dear Billy
30 in 30 - Day 8: Hellboy - Seeds of Destruction 
30 in 30 - Day 9: WE3
30 in 30 - Day 10: Kill or Be Killed vol. 2
30 in 30 - Day 11: Star Wars vol. 1 - Skywalker Strikes
30 in 30 - Day 12: Pride of Baghdad
30 in 30 - Day 13: Trees vol. 1 
30 in 30 - Day 14: Sweet Tooth vol. 1 - Out of the Deep Woods
30 in 30 - Day 15: Glitterbomb vol.1 - Red Carpet
30 in 30 - Day 16: Seven Soldiers of Victory 0
30 in 30 - Day 17: Seven Soldiers of Victory - Shining Knight
30 in 30 - Day 18: Seven Soldiers of Victory - Manhattan Guardian
30 in 30 - Day 19: Seven Soldiers of Victory - Klarion the Witchboy
30 in 30 - Day 20: Seven Soldiers of Victory – Mister Miracle
30 in 30 - Day 21: Seven Soldiers of Victory - Bulleteer
30 in 30 - Day 22: Seven Soldiers of Victory - Frankenstein
30 in 30 - Day 23: Seven Soldiers of Victory - Zatanna
30 in 30 - Day 24: Seven Soldiers of Victory 1
30 in 30 - Day 25: LoEG - Nemo: Heart of Ice
30 in 30 - Day 26: LoEG - Nemo: The Roses of Berlin
30 in 30 - Day 27: LoEG - Nemo: River of Ghosts
30 in 30 - Day 28: Spencer & Locke
30 in 30 - Day 29: The Dregs
30 in 30 - Day 30: Royal City vol. 1 - Next of Kin