The 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winner for editorial cartooning, Welcome to the New World by Jake Halpern and Michael Sloan, is now a graphic novel. The authors have expanded the original 20 part series into a 192 page graphic novel.
When it came to illustrating the book, Michael approached his drawing style differently. The project “put me in touch with humanity on a much deeper level than a traditional illustration assignment,” says Michael, and as a result, he wanted the work to look different too. The graphic novel took nearly two years to finish, requiring “a much greater level of investment” from Michael both physically and emotionally. “I felt a close connection to the family even thought I didn’t meet with them very often,” he adds.
In terms of the creative process for creating the graphic novel however, the process was similar to any other editorial commission. Once he’d landed on sketches he was happy with, he would send the work to an editor to be approved before proceeding to finalise the artwork. All in all, the book provided Michael and Jake with the chance to expand on Jamil and Ammar’s story in as much detail as possible.
Illustrator Michael Sloan talks to It’s Nice That about the challenges of turning the comic strip into a graphic novel (a two year project); and the website has a preview of the book.