graphic novels

by Trinidad Escobar

Oakland-based poet and cartoonist Trinidad Escobar was born in 1986 during a typhoon in the Philippines. She was adopted by a family in the U.S. and  grew up an ocean away from her original homeland.

The Berkeley-born writer Ariel Schrag was first published while she was still a student Berkeley High School in the late 90s. Schrag gained success after writing a series of four autobiographical coming-of-age graphic novels - one about each year of high school. In the mid-aughts she wrote for television - including the Showtime series The L Word. She recently finished her first novel Adam and is currently living in Brooklyn. 

San Francisco native and graphic journalist Wendy MacNaughton set out to uncover the city's hidden stories in her book, Meanwhile in San Francisco. It’s a collection of drawn portraits of San Francisco residents and their favorite hangouts, including written observations from interviews. 

Courtesy of

Thien Pham is what you might call a big personality. In a 2011 Expresswrite-up of the artist, Oaklander, and graphic novelist's last book, Level Up, Luke Tsai described him as an "outsized personality: the smack talker, the maker of outrageous statements." Pham's speech is loose, expressive, and uncommonly fast, his words occasionally stumbling over each other as they exit his mouth. Even his drawings, which are rendered in thick lines, graphic shapes, and bright colors, impart a sort of existential bigness.

On today's Your Call, we'll rebroadcast a conversation we had with graphic novelists. How do images change the art of story telling? What are your favorite graphic novels? What makes them unique?  More graphic novels have been published in the last 10 years than in the previous 30. What explains the explosion? What can we learn from graphic journalism? It's Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.  


Amir, author of graphic novel, Zahra's Paradise

On today's Your Call, we’ll have a conversation with Paul Buhle and Sharon Rudahl, author and one of the illustrators of the new graphic novel, Robin Hood: People’s Outlaw and Forest Hero.  Buhle writes: “Robin Hood and his companions were called into existence by popular desires for social revenge and social justice.  Whether they “existed” or not does not matter: they existed and exist in the hearts of rebels everywhere.”  So what has Robin Hood’s story meant over time?  How is he as powerful a symbol today as he was in the 14th century?  It’s Your Call with Rose Aguilar, and You.