Graphic Novel & the Oral Tradition – Recording Available!

Art Credit:

More than Words Alone: Storytelling in the Graphic Novel and the Oral Tradition

Thursday, March 10, 2022 @ 7 pm via Zoom
Presenter: Joanne Epply-Schmidt

The Best We Could Do tells a riveting story with few words and arresting art. The writing is specific and spare. The drawings are dramatic and deft. Frame by frame, page by page, Thi Bui evokes in us, the readers, as much empathy and understanding as would pages of sentences. This interplay of simple words and unrefined pictures allows space and time for our imaginations to enter fully into the story not just as the recounting of a memoir but as a lived experience.

Storytelling in the oral tradition relies on both the carefully crafted word and the unspoken embodiment of place, time, emotion, and lived experience. Perhaps storytelling in the oral tradition and storytelling in a graphic novel have a lot in common.

Join in this interactive presentation where we will consider how the oral tradition and the graphic novel share storytelling techniques that bring a narrative to life.

The Reverend Joanne Epply-Schmidt is Associate Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Princeton. Her work there focuses on Pastoral Care, Youth and Family. Justice and Anti-Racism ministries. Joanne began her professional Storytelling career in the late 1990’s serving as a teaching artist and Storyteller in the Juvenile Justice system and in Trenton city schools. She has performed and taught the art of Storytelling in workshops and programs in schools, colleges, seminaries, churches, and retreat centers in the US and Canada. Participating in the Pennington BIG READ again is a special joy and privilege!

This program is part of the 2022 NEA Big Read, which encourages the Pennington community to read the same book and participate in a wide variety of events. The Best We Could Do is an intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam. NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Please visit for a full calendar of events and more information.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.