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Graphic Light Novels: The Shabazz Arts Solution

Stop Me If You've Heard This Story Before.

Some traditions stand the test of time in a world of ever-changing technological advances. Comic books and graphic novels are one example; the art form has been around since the 1930s and shows no sign of slowing down. Moreover, comics and graphic novels may be more popular than ever, thanks partly to adaptations like "The Walking Dead" and "Stranger Things." However, with popularity come unfortunate caveats. Comics and related physical media have grown into an industrial complex. From conventions to billions of dollars in revenue, if you're a fan or have been one for the last ten years, no one needs to explain just how far the industry has come in a short time. Rapid growth means higher demand and increased interest from parties looking to cash in or build an equitable business or platform.

The macro results are debatable. Some see growth as a good thing; others see it as unsustainable. Devil, however, is most comfortable in the details.As a result, the On the micro level, what does a burgeoning industrial complex mean?

In short?

The only financial stability available is found in the larger parts of the industry. While anyone can make a comic book, the only hope of financial success resides in creating a product that bigger companies feel confident will sell.

I have been making comics for more than a decade. I know from experience that comics are more than a genre, and people create them for reasons beyond monetary returns. But what if there's another way to make comics without sacrificing artistic integrity or shamelessly chasing a check?

Graphic light novels captivate readers with their unique combination of words and pictures, providing a fresh take on traditional storytelling. In addition, they provide the space for writers to spread their wings and artists to create without being overburdened by drawing too many panels per page.

So, what are graphic light novels, and why should you be reading them? First, let's start with the basics:

Graphic Light Novel is a term I came up with to describe this new direction of content Shabazz Arts will be producing. That isn't to say I created the first graphic light novel. But, as you'll see, many existing books fall into the category. Furthermore, reading How To Draw Black People Volume 2 would give you the clearest example of what a Shabazz Arts graphic light novel is.

So, let's look at the specs.

A graphic light novel is 256 to 296 pages long. Longer than the average trade paperback (120-page average) but shorter than a true graphic novel (300+ pages).

The word count can be anywhere between 19 and 25k, with a minimum of 64 pages of comic book panels and or illustrations. Bearcat Wright & The Kayfable Chronicles follows a design structure similar to the example I've provided.

It's not hard to see how many books already exist with a similar motif. The most accurate examples are the many "how to draw comic book" subgenre entries which are in no short supply.

Why graphic light novels? Why now?

Understandably, most people cannot fathom how industrial complexes work. People that participate rarely see their place in the grand design, and that result is purposeful. Also, the personal effects of ICs are hard to perceive without guidance or experience. (Hell, if not for my work in social justice, I may not be aware myself.) Something easy to point out is that the average comic buyer is also a comic book creator or otherwise associated with the industry. That means that success in the comic book industry ties directly to social standing. For example, you can be a horrible person and terrific athlete and still be successful. In comics, however, there's a support exchange powered by networking. If word gets around that you're a terrible person, hard to work with, etc. It becomes harder to get work. That's a long-form explanation of gatekeeping, but like any social system, it has its pros and cons. The positive side exem