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Adventures in Cartooning: 05/24/10
Adventures in Cartooning: How to Turn Your Doodles into Comics by James Sturm was short listed for the middle grades graphic novels category for the 2009-2010 Cybils. There were a lot of excellent books on that short list and I think in a different year this book could have won.
The book uses the medium to teach the methods behind the medium. The focus is on the method of building a good story, not on drawing in a certain style. In fact the illustrations are done with stick figures and doodles very much like Order of the Stick or similar web comics (in terms of style, not content).
The book though isn't strictly a how-to. It's also a graphic novel in that the stick figure knight has a quest and a story apart from the lesson plan. Best of all, there's an excellent twist at the end of book.