Variations on a theme: 'A Letter Lasts Longer'

Earlier this month, Dean Haspiel spent three weeks as a "master artist" mentoring a group of young comics creators at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. One of their exercises was to draw a short comic based on a script from Haspiel that contained no visual cues, and Haspiel has now posted the results, "A Letter Lasts Longer," at Trip City.

It's fascinating to click through eight comics and see the differences — and the similarities — in the ways the creators interpret the script. It's just a scrap of reminiscence about receiving a letter from a man as a small child, and the reflection that letters last longer than computer media. Most of the cartoonists took this to be the story of a father writing to a child, but George Jurard imagined it as a love letter in a remarkably rich and detail-filled comic. And while most of the artists used fairly conventional paneling, Jp Pollard and Christa Cassano spread it out across the page in interesting ways. Haspiel himself also drew a version of the comic, and the whole group makes an interesting exercise in compare-and-contrast.

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