Every year, my students and I have a table in Artist’s Alley at the Emerald City Comics Convention.
And every year, the Cartooning Class puts together a special little ‘zine to give away at the show. The assignment for the convention book is always the same– “One page. Introduce yourself.” When those pages are all collated together, we have a nice little book that’s kind of a snapshot in comics form of that year’s class.
Just for fun this week, I thought I’d show you a few pages from that book.
Here’s the cover. Pencils by Cal, inks by Miles.
This is the sort of demented thing Cal and Miles come up with all the time.
This is Jude.
The “I Like Trains!” reference is some kind of internet meme thing going around. I have no idea what it is because I’m an old man and can’t keep up, but it’s showed up in a lot of comics this school year and the phrase gets bellowed in class at least once every session, followed by hysterical laughter. Personally, I was done with it back in October, but in middle school, no joke ever wears out.
This is Cal’s own page.
Cal is a born cartoonist. I have shown him a few things about inking and line weight– he has a bad habit of wanting to use a Sharpie for EVERYTHING– but by and large, he came in this good.
Usually, I insist they do a comic strip, but we had a huge time crunch this year what with the end-of-semester break and the convention moving up a month from April to March, so I relaxed my restriction and said pin-ups were okay. Here’s Samantha’s.
Sam’s in Young Authors, too, and has an antic sense of humor that shows up in both her stories and her comics, though she tends to be soft-spoken in person.
This is Miles, Cal’s partner-in-crime.
Usually he works as an inker and as you can see here, he roped Cal into penciling the figure. This is pretty typical of the self-deprecating humor Miles likes to do.
This is Hina.
Hina is a factory and very self-directed. She was annoyed at having to interrupt her epic penguin serial for the convention book and blew this out in about fifteen minutes so she could get back to her REAL work.
This is Cora. She is new this year, but settled in very quickly.
Usually Cora wants to just do pin-ups, but the one time I allowed it, she went ahead and did an actual comics page. I think she just enjoys being contrary.
Serena complained that she didn’t have anything to say about herself. I said “Use that, then.”
And as you can see, that’s exactly what she did.
This is Amy, who is almost as prolific as Hina.
Amy is also a Young Author and did a really cool romance piece for the new anthology with changing points of view between the boy and the girl. Very sophisticated. If she stays with it, I suspect she’ll join the shortlist next to Bri and Katrina and Lindon and Amanda of my kids that turn pro.
Jack is not really a natural cartoonist, but he is extremely conscientious about technique.
He works really hard at establishing a light source and sticking to it, varying his ink line, placing objects in context to a background, all the things I try to show them. But really Jack is more verbal, he should be a writer.
Noah’s another hard worker who’s really trying to learn technique.
As you can see, he’s all business.
And that’s a sample. We have lots more, and if you come by our table in Artist’s Alley this year, you can have one of these ‘zines for your very own. We’ll also have Young Authors anthologies from both middle school and high school– the high school class just killed it, they did a great book this semester– along with this year’s benefit comic from the grads, featuring a cool new zombie story from Lindon. The proceeds from everything we sell goes into the pool for all the after-school programs, including not just my classes but also drama, dance, homework tutoring, and pretty much any sport that’s not football.
Come check us out if you’re at the show!
…And everyone else, I’ll see you next week.
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