#WRawesome Online: Scott Chantler

I feature an interesting website, blog, Twitter feed, Facebook page or other online destination related to Waterloo Region on CKWR with Randolph J. Johnston called #WRawesome Online, Mondays at about 12:30. Here is the Midday with RJ’s Facebook page.

I hope by doing so that I’ll help people find places online that help them to connect to their community–online and in the real world. By doing so, I hope to help people find online places that they might not find otherwise and make our community a better place to live.

For folks looking for communications advice, you can get tips from each selection featured. I’ll highlight at least one example in my weekly post.

Who is Scott Chantler?

Let me start by saying that Scott Chantler is just plain WRawesome. Everyone in Waterloo Region should know about this outstanding graphic novelist who lives in our midst. If you’re going to TEDxWaterloo, you’ll get a chance to learn more about him when he speaks. I’m a huge fan and have been since we worked together years ago at Creative Options.

Scott describes himself as a cartoonist. He dislikes his work as being described as a graphic novel because “graphic novel” is not a genre. Rather it is a form of telling a story that uses illustrations and it can fall into any genre such as romance, science-fiction and non-fiction. But as we’d describe an author of a book with only words as a novelist, I’ll describe Scott as a graphic novelist since in his most recent work he both writes and draws the story. (But it’s also because I know it’ll bug him!)

Scott is best known for his book based on his grandfather’s experiences in World War II called The Two Generals. His grandfather’s wartime journal inspired the story that he told after doing extensive research. He also has a successful series of children’s books called Three Thieves.

Why Chantler is WRawesome

But none of that makes Scott, #WRawesome Online. His blogging and presence on Twitter do.

Chantler’s online presence is a perfect example of how to promote yourself online without appearing to be promoting yourself (or your business/organization) online. Sure there’s some self promotion as a part of the mix but it’s clear that he’s not online with the sole focus of pushing out information to sell books.

On Twitter, Chantler talks about his life and his work. You learn who he is as a person. Fans can follow his projects as they make their way to them. Everyone can get a glimpse what goes into creating a book in the graphic style. My impression is that Chantler must be one of the hardest working guys around. He also uses Twitter to connect with his peers, fans and other tweeps.

He uses his blog to give people a more in depth look at his work as a cartoonist. For example, he has shared his extensive research for the Two Generals. It’s a perfect example of giving people content that they find valuable so that they share it and keep coming back.

Chantler could easily say he doesn’t have time for blogging and Twitter. But he obviously sees it as a priority and makes the time for it. He’s smart enough to know he needs to find the time.

How to find the time for social media

Do you struggle with your own busy schedule? Check out my post on how to find time for social media.

Scott Chantler
Scott Chantler

All right, I know you're just having me on, but here's the thing about the term "graphic novelist". It's has nothing to do with comics not being a genre (although you're correct to point out that they aren't). It's that we already have a perfect word for somebody who writes with pictures: cartoonist (a word many people misunderstand to mean "animator," but that's not my problem). Furthermore, the word "novelist" is problematic, in that it's limiting. Two Generals, despite being called a "graphic novel" is in fact not a novel of any sort: it's non-fiction. Also, not all comics are graphic novels...many of us, myself included, still do shorter works in the more traditional monthly format. Do I have to change job titles when I do so? "Cartoonist" describes what I do precisely, while not limiting what I do with needless grandiosity. And it has a nice history to it, to boot. Your obvious attempt to raise my hackles aside, thanks for the love. ;)