'The New Yorker' Profile on SVA Alumnus Raina Telgemeier
September 15, 2016
From The New Yorker: "'Ghosts,' the new book by Raina Telgemeier, graphic novelist extraordinaire, comes out today. Telgemeier’s realistic, sometimes autobiographical books have helped popularize graphic novels for middle-schoolers, in a big way. Her past three books, ‘Smile,’ from 2010, ‘Drama,’ from 2012, and ‘Sisters,’ from 2014, were all No. 1 Times best-sellers. She has won two Eisner awards and many other distinctions. This morning, ‘Ghosts’ was already No. 13, out of all books, on Amazon’s best-seller list. Kids first got to know Telgemeier through her four adaptations of Baby-Sitters Club books, by Ann M. Martin, but her original work, with sensitive observations, flawed protagonists, and funny details, resonates in a more personal way. ‘Smile,’ whose plot a ten-year-old fan once described to me in exacting, grisly detail, is about Telgemeier’s dental misadventures in junior high and high school, which began when she fell and knocked out one top front tooth and knocked in another. (‘WHAM!,’ the panel says.) ‘Sisters’ is about young Raina’s relationship with her boisterous little sister, Amara; ‘Drama’ is about drama in a middle-school drama club. ‘Ghosts’ is, in some ways, a big departure: it’s about ghosts.
Writing magic realism “snuck up on me,” Telgemeier told me recently. “I was really happy and comfortable writing autobio. Even striking out into realistic fiction, with ‘Drama,’ felt like a stretch.” She had never been drawn to fantasy. As a child, she liked real-world stuff…” (For the full story and more images, click here)