WEEK 1. Comics Club – humorous comics + creating cartoon characters

As I mentioned last week, I am leading an after-school comics club for 4th and 5th grade students. (Last week, I wrote about why it’s valuable to encourage kids to read comics.) While I’m at it, I thought I would quickly share resources here each week. This week in Comics Club, I shared four humorous graphic novel series with my students, and I taught them a few tips for creating cartoon characters.


The four humorous graphic novel series I shared with the kids were:

  • Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye by Colleen A.F. Venable
  • Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel
  • Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
  • Binky by Ashley Spires

The students each got to select a book from one of these series to take home with them and read during the coming week.


I also shared a few tips for creating cartoon characters:

1. Choose a “distinguishing characteristic” for your character that will make your character easily identifiable.

2. Practice drawing your character with various expressions.

3. Create a personality or backstory for your character.

I shared these videos with the students that show authors drawing their characters and offering tips on the fly.

How to Draw Greg Heffley (Diary of a Wimpy Kid)

How to Draw Amelia (Amelia Rules)

How to Draw Nate (Big Nate)

How to Draw Raina (Smile and Sisters) and Callie (Drama)

In addition to leading Comics Club, I am adding comics and graphic novels to the school library collection, which has me mulling over this question. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Where is the best place to catalogue and shelve graphic novels in a library collection?

Option A. Dewey’s already answered this question! 741.5 in the nonfiction section.

Option B. Pull graphic novels, and create a stand alone graphic novel section.

Option C. Integrate comics into the collection. Fiction comics should be catalogued by author’s last name and integrated into the fiction section. Nonfiction comics should be catalogued by Dewey decimal number according to their subject matter and integrated into the nonfiction section.

*This question is aimed at children’s librarians, but library users are welcome to chime in as well!