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Spring Exhibition!

by  in Comic News Comment
Spring Exhibition!

As is traditional when the big Emerald City Con is approaching, I usually give this space over to my 6th and 7th grade Cartooning students to preview some of the pages of the comic they’ll be rolling out at the show.

The last couple of years, sadly, we’ve been priced out of exhibiting there. But there’s been a nice new development this year– turns out that we weren’t the only ones that couldn’t afford Artist Alley at ECCC any more.

Turns out a lot of local comics people got frozen out when the new owners raised prices. And they decided to do something about it. Hometown Heroes is a one-night-only exhibition that’s happening Friday evening during the big show, just four blocks away, and Casey Silver, the honcho at 80% Studios that put it all together, just gave us a table. So we get a spring show after all. The students are very jazzed for it, especially since we have a lot of new faces this year that have never done this before. I thought you’d enjoy seeing some of their stuff.

Here’s Jon. This one tickles me. It reminds me of something from the 80s zinester scene, except he’s twelve.

He complained that he couldn’t draw– this is common with our newer kids– but when I showed him a couple of tricks about how to change the point of view from panel to panel and vary his ink line a little bit, it really energized him. And when he found out he could make the other kids laugh, well, it was on rails. I like it because it has that great sort of alt-weekly vibe.

The Trump candidacy is as irresistible to my kids as it is to professional political cartoonists. This is Sophia.

I thought this was amazingly nuanced and subtle for a sixth-grade girl. Sophia’s one of mine that just needed a venue– she’s been waiting for this chance her whole life. She loves tabling, too.

Here’s another one that found he could do comics even though he was extremely self-conscious about ‘being a bad drawer.’ This is Cole.

I usually answer, when the boys ask me about violence– it’s always the boys– that I don’t actually object to it but they can’t just celebrate it, it can’t be shown as something fun and cool. There has to be a point, we don’t do gratuitous violence. Here is Cole experimenting with irony. I don’t know if Rod Serling started this way, but Cole’s definitely in that tradition. And look how HARD he is working on the inking. What I love about this is that even though the rendering itself is really raw, the kid is killing himself trying to use the tools of the trade. Light and shadow, changing the point of view, working with the ink line to pop things forward– all he needs is practice. One of the mission statements for the class is that everyone can get good at this, it’s not about drawing; it’s about learning the language of comics. And this year’s crew are determined to do exactly that.

Anyway, that’s just a sample of the work I’m seeing in class this school year. It’s a fun group. Come say hello if you’re in town Friday night… and everyone else, I’ll see you next week.

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