Review: "The Making of a Graphic Novel/The Resonator" by Prentis Rollins

Resonator by Prentis RollinsThe books that I review for the Dragon Page are usually sent to me by publicists but, in this case, I saw The Resonator reviewed in Publishers Weekly and decided I had to own it. It's a graphic novel, but I think some of the C2C listeners might enjoy it, so...

This is one of those ideas that seems so obvious you wonder why it hasn't been done before. Writer-artist Rollins, who's worked extensively for DC Comics, splits his book in half. Begin from one side of the flip book, and you get The Resonator, a lovely, oblique graphic novel about a future world where sleep is a luxury. The continuously-laboring inhabitants of this H.R. Giger-esque solar system can't really get any shut-eye without the help of special drugs, which are legal but expensive and saved for special occasions, or "resonators," mysterious devices that can also bring sleep but are, for reasons unknown, highly illegal.

The Resonator is a beautiful story told with sensitive, moody illustrations. It's good SF—thought-provoking, perspective-widening—and I would recommend it on those terms alone. However, if you flip the book over, you can also enjoy Rollins's compelling treatise on how he created The Resonator from the conceptual phase all the way to the inking process. I'm not an artist—I couldn't draw a circle with a compass, in fact—but I found The Making of a Graphic Novel revealing about both the art of the graphic novel and the creative process in general. It's fascinating stuff, and highly recommended to both fans of graphic novels as well as would-be novelists, graphic or otherwise.

The Making of a Graphic Novel/The Resonator
Published by: Watson-Guptill Publications (January 15, 2006)
ISBN: 0823030539
Genre: Far future sci fi graphic novel/graphic novel how-to

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