Home Graphic novel 8-Year-Old Slides His Graphic Novel Off the Library Shelf and Hits the ‘Whirlwind’ of Success

8-Year-Old Slides His Graphic Novel Off the Library Shelf and Hits the ‘Whirlwind’ of Success

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Meet Dillon Helbig, a young author who managed to make his 81-page graphic novel the most popular read in his local library.

An eight-year-old has found a clever way to make his book a success.

During the school holidays, young Dillon Helbig penned “The Adventures of Crismis by Dillon Helbig”, which features the writer in an illustrated Christmas tale. He worked on the book for four days, but getting it published was a challenge, considering he’s only in his second year. However, as The New York Times reports, Dillon found a clever way to get his story to hit the shelves: by putting it on one at the library.

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While spending time with her grandmother, Dillon placed her novel on a shelf in the fiction section of the Lake Hazel branch of the Ada Community Library in Boise. When the young designer told his parents what he had done, they called the library to see if they could get him back, but Dillon’s plan had worked. He had wanted to spread his story, and the librarians cataloged it in their graphic novels section.


“It deserves a place on our library shelves,” said library branch manager Alex Hartman. “It’s a good story.”

Dillon’s story runs to 81 pages, which is on par with oversized issues published by mainstream comic book publishers like Marvel and DC Comics, with DC’s upcoming one-shot, Strange love affairs #1, scheduled for February. To put the comparison into perspective, Dillon’s “Crismis” adventure is actually longer than Batman: The Killing Jokearguably one of the most iconic graphic novels of all time, but only about 64 pages long, with bonus content.

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The story explores Dillon’s journey as he traverses the holidays through exploding Christmas decorations and portals found in trees, very similar to The Nightmare Before Christmas and how Jack Skellington ends up at Santa’s workshop at the North Pole. However, unlike Skellington, Dillon walks into a tree that takes him back to the very first Thanksgiving, rather than Halloween Town. The story became such a hit that 56 people had signed up on the library’s waiting list to borrow the book by the end of January.

Not only did the graphic novel become a hit in libraries and garner media attention, but it also inspired Dillon’s peers to write and can be published as well. Local author Cristianne Lane offered to host a children’s writing workshop for the library, while publishers called for Dillion’s work to be officially published. The young author’s mother, Susan Helbig (responsible for the photo above), described the whole experience as a “whirlwind”.


If “The Adventures of Crismis by Dillon Helbig” is published, you might be able to pick up a copy, rather than put yourself on a waiting list of dozens of people. Dillon is also determined to become an author, so that may not be his only achievement in the future.

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Source: The New York Times

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