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Telling Stories Through Comics

May 21, 2012

Raina Telgemeier decided to become a cartoonist when she was in fourth grade, the same year she joined Girl Scouts. “I was inspired by the comic stories I read when I was young and wanted to learn to make them too,” says Raina, who is this week’s featured artist on The Studio. “That meant learning to write a good story, as well as how to draw funny pictures.”

She was so inspired by her former fellow Girl Scouts, she ended up using them as characters in her best-selling graphic novel memoir, Smile. In the book, 11-year-old Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night, she falls, injuring her two front teeth, forcing her to have corrective surgery and to wear embarrassing headgear. Talk about a frownfest! But in the end, young Raina learns to smile again.

Raina’s also adapted and illustrated graphic novels for The Baby-sitters Club, and co-authored X-Men: Misfits. Find out what it takes to write and draw a graphic novel as Raina takes you behind the scenes to show you her work.