“Nightlights” by Lorena Alvarez

Nightlights, by Lorena Alvarez

NoBrow press, March 2017, children’s literature, 9 and up, list $18.95

You might be able to tell by the cover of Nightlights that Colombian-born artist Lorena Alvarez does a lot of her work in three rather than two dimensions. Nightlights is her first book, but in addition to her other visual art and design projects, she makes plush toys and works with La Procesion Puppet Club, a Colombian group of experimental puppeteers. Continue reading ““Nightlights” by Lorena Alvarez”

Our Superhero Selves

by Anna the massage therapist

Our classes just started at Goshen College, so I’m a bit behind on my review of Lorena Alvarez’s Nightlights. In the meantime, however, I have some fun student work to share with you.

I’m teaching a course on graphic novels this semester. The students are learning about the history of comics and graphic novels, and will create short graphic memoirs of their own by the end of the class.

Part of what we practice as a class is sketching rather than drawing, so that students can create the types of simple, iconic characters that help readers engage more fully with the language of comics. Scott McCloud, in his seminal 1993 work Understanding Comicsa book in comics form about how comics work—illustrates the importance of icons to visual storytelling in these two now-famous frames:

McCloud on icons and realism
Image from understandingcomics177.wordpress.com

Continue reading “Our Superhero Selves”