Hillyer College English Students Bring Classic Novels to Visual Life

March 09, 2023
Submitted By: Mary Ingarra

For the first time, the graphic novel is the focus of a Hillyer College English course, ENB260, Studies in Literature, taught by Instructor of English and Speech Maria Johnson. At the start of the semester, students chose classic novels that have been given visual treatment: The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, Frankenstein, Fahrenheit 450, the Stories of Edgar Allen Poe, The Odyssey, A Christmas Carol, The Diary of Anne Frank, Les Misérables, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Hobbit, and A Wrinkle in Time. 

With the help of a professional illustrator Bob Selby, Zooming in from Maine, along with YouTube instruction by other artists, students explored how layout, color, and other design elements bring their chosen novels to visual life. 

Their current project is to create, working in pairs over two class sessions, a graphic novel panel of their own using the devices they’ve learned. No expert drawing ability is required as the students are not art majors; instead, magazines, scissors, glue sticks, and other supplies are provided. 

After spring break, the students will present their finished product to the class, and explain their design decisions, for Selby and the class to critique. 

Hillyer students bring their chosen novels to visual life. 

Hillyer students bring their chosen novels to visual life.