Friday, March 7, 2014

Guest blog and Giveaway: Angelboy Vol. 1 by Nicole Beguesse

Merging Art & Storytelling

We've all heard the old mantra, "Show, don't tell"...

The big question is, HOW do you "Show, don't tell"?

Sometimes, our characters have immense backstories-- and sometimes, the world we've created is so much richer than can be explained in a few words. So how are you supposed to "Show, don't tell" something like that?! It's easy to get frustrated. But in this blog post, I'll show you how to do it. I'll show you how to convey deep meanings effectively and quickly, and your stories will be richer for it.

But first, let me back up a bit... I'm a comic artist. I think in pictures. I've been called a surrealist, because my drawings often use dream-logic. But I don't think the description, "surrealism" goes far enough. Sometimes dreams are just a bunch of random images thrown together... but other times, they are more than that. Sometimes a dream has more truth than the reality it reflects... Dreams can reveal your greatest hopes or biggest fears, instantly, through the use of symbols.

SYMBOLISM is how you can convey vast meanings with only a few words. I believe there are two types of symbolism.

The first kind of symbolism is a lot like a simile or metaphor. But it's longer than a simile/metaphor, and it may reappear several times in the story. I call it hard symbolism, because the visual action of the simile doesn't match the action in the story. It requires a little "mental leap" to understand. Here's an example:

In this page, the character is talking to himself and reflecting on his past greed and selfishness. His parasitic behavior makes him look like a flea, while the creature he's on represents the whole earth. It's a cool image, but you have to pay attention to the words to understand what it means.

The second kind of symbolism is called soft symbolism. It is kind of like a simile or metaphor, but it goes one step further, because you might not even realize it's there. The metaphor is woven into the action seamlessly, causing a faint, dreamlike emotion. The reader might not detect the different symbols until a second or third reading. Here's an example. In this page, the hero of our story is in a rainy street, and reminiscing about the person who killed him (he's an angel):

The rain and the flowers are in the present; the images with the back blackground are in the past. You get the impression the flowers are red. Why red? First, the flowers are poppies-- Poppies represent sleeping, unconsciousness-- in this case, death... Here, they are also representing blood. The first two panels each have one red spot, and the last two panels have many...  So many flowers floating away, so much blood. And what does the rain represent? Tears, perhaps?...

There's a saying that goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Using narrative symbolism you can convey much more than a thousand words in an image. Great writers use these symbolic images all the time. Next time you're confronted with a "Show, don't tell" problem, I hope you will consider using symbols as a way to convey your meaning. If you like my art, and want to see more of my book, please visit my website at

Vol. 1
Nicole Beguesse

Genre: Manga / Fantasy


ISBN: 978-0989887908
ASIN: 0989887901

Number of pages: 198

Cover Artist:

Book Description:

Cyrus is a normal teenager whose life is abruptly ended when he’s brutally murdered!...

He reawakens as Angelboy in a town he doesn't recognize. Unable to be seen or heard by anyone, Cyrus tries to make up for the effects of his wasted life...

Only to find his world inhabited by the devils of peoples' minds! He battles hell's vilest demons for something more valuable than the entire earth... ...a single soul!

Warning: Angelboy is for Older Teens (Age 16+)

About the Author:

Many years ago I was in a bookstore when I came across a volume of manga by the all-female Japanese team CLAMP. It was at that moment I understood the storytelling power of manga and how it was so unlike anything I had ever seen before. Since then, I've been studying day by day to draw and write my own manga series. I have a BS in Computer Science from the University of Florida and a Master's in Sequential Art at SCAD.

I am currently living in Savannah, GA.

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bn100 said...

Looks interesting

salena said...

This looks like a great read :) I love the cover! :) Thanks so much for sharing & Happy Reading! :)