Rachelle Cruz

Author of God's Will for Monsters

Writer, Educator & Consultant


Available now!

Experiencing Comics: An Introduction to Reading, Discussing, and Creating Comics shows students how to critically examine the craft and storytelling elements found inside a graphic novel or comic. 

This accessible, introductory guide to comics is divided into four chapters. Chapter one discusses how a comic is made and introduces students to the unique form and structure of comics, demonstrating how panels, splash pages, and word balloons are used to tell a story. Chapter two encourages students to apply literary theory and social politics to the world of comics to encourage discussions of comics within a larger cultural context. Chapter three explores the history of comics and introduces students to significant movements and moments in comics history in the United States. The final chapter provides students with comic-making activities so they can practice the craft and storytelling elements discussed throughout the book. Students will gain first-hand insight from comics professionals and practitioners through interviews with creators, artists, writers, anthology editors, scholars, and comics enthusiasts such as: John Jennings, Gene Luen Yang, Ramzi Fawaz, Lucy Knisley, Kazu Kibuishi, Ronald Wimberly, Sonny Liew, Nilah Magruder, Belle Yang, Andi Santagata, Keith Chow, Yumi Sakugawa, Ryan North, Taneka Stotts, Fred Van Lente, Jeff Yang, MariNaomi, Deborah Elizabeth Whaley, Keith Sicat, Alexander Rothman, Glynnes Pruett, Danica Novgorodoff, Mildred Louis, Jenny Lin, Betsy Gomez, Sophie Goldstein, Ashanti Fortson, Leela Corman, Jeffrey A. Brown, Rina Ayuyang, and more. 

Experiencing Comics is an excellent resource for courses in creative writing or comparative literature that focus specifically on graphic novels and comics. It can also be used in gender studies, ethnic studies, and sexuality courses.

Paperback Format ISBN: 978-1-5165-1698-8


For more information, you can contact her at rachelle [dot] a [dot] cruz [at] gmail.com.



God's Will for Monsters

2016 Hillary Gravendyk Regional Prize Winner

Inlandia Institute

Kuwento: Lost Things

An Anthology of New Philippine Myths

Self-Portrait as Rumor and Blood



"An award winner non-stop, a deeply serious, studied set of investigations, yet, playful, a Tumbler of blurred faces, light, time, space, paint, medicine, plants and plates At the hands of a spirit-caller-writer, word-levitator of the 21st Century. One of a kind."

"More than ever, our world needs the aswang, the werebeast, and the wisdom of the women and bold voices calling out from Rachelle Cruz's marvelous debut collection. Cruz's vision holds many worlds: from the mythical landscapes of the "death dusk" to the streets of Hayward, California,

"...with God’s Will for Monsters, the poet conjures dreamspace,
incantation, oral history, myth, remittance slip, aswang bulletin,
greenbacks, Christ spells, and personal memory. The result is a
new-century revelation of so much glorious giggling grotesque culled
from our hidden narratives. "


Poet Laureate of the United States

BRYNN SAITO, Author of Power Made Us Swoon


Author of Brooklyn Antidiluvian



Rachelle Cruz is from Hayward, California.  She is the author of God's Will for Monsters (Inlandia, 2017), which won an American Book Award in 2018 and the 2016 Hillary Gravendyk Regional Poetry Prize.  She was appointed the 2018-2020 Inlandia Literary Laureate.  She co-edited Kuwento: Lost Things, an anthology of Philippine Myths (Carayan Press, 2015) with Melissa Sipin.  Her most recent book, Experiencing Comics: An Introduction to Reading, Discussing and Creating Comics, was published in Fall 2018.  Her work has appeared in As/Us, Yellow Medicine Review, The Lit Pub,The Collagist, Bone Bouquet, PANK, Muzzle Magazine, Inlandia: A Literary Journey, among others. She hosts The Blood-Jet Writing Hour with Muriel Leung.  She is a Lecturer in the Creative Writing Department at the University of California, Riverside.  An Emerging Voices Fellow, a Kundiman Fellow and a VONA writer, she lives and writes in Southern California.

You can contact her at rachelle [dot] a [dot] cruz [at] gmail.com.

Photo by Julienne Medina

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