Students teach kids about comic book artistry

Sophomore communications major Olivia Easly and sophomore psychology major Christine Lee participate in Saturdays KidCon event. The event, held by the honors 2515 comics class, invited children from the area to make and read comics and watch cartoons at the Watauga Public Library. Maggie Cozens| The Appalachian

Michael Bragg

Sophomore communications major Olivia Easly and sophomore psychology major Christine Lee participate in Saturday's KidCon event. The event, held by the honors 2515 comics class, invited  children from the area to make and read comics and watch cartoons at the Watauga Public Library. Maggie Cozens| The AppalachianWhen English professor Craig Fischer discovered his daughter, a Girl Scout cadet, could earn a comic artist badge, he began working to create a class project for all children called KidsCon. 

KidsCon is a comic book convention aimed toward young children, hosted by Craig Fischer’s Comics and Graphic Novels.

But while Fischer created the idea, his students did most of the work.

[The students] designed a lot of the games,” Fischer said. “They made something called the comics catalogue where they found all these examples of artists drawing different objects. They carried a lot of the bulk of what’s involved with KidsCon.”

Sophomore history education major Chris Block was pleased with the number of kids who attended the event.

“It’s been really great to see the public turn out on a Saturday afternoon for something called a comic con,” Block said. “It’s really been great and I think everyone is enjoying it.”

Block said this event is more than just giving kids the opportunity to enjoy comic books.

“I think it’s important to reach out to the public because we’re not just here to serve for ourselves but for everyone through what we’ve learned,” he said. “Reaching out is a great way to interact and get involved.”

During the event, the children were able to participate in games, free draw, watch cartoons and listen to presentations by actual comic book artists.

Every child was given a free comic for attending.

The event featured comic book artists Ben Towle and Rachel “Rei” Haycraft, who gave talks about what it is like to be a comic book artist and provided advice to kids who wished to become artists themselves.

Haycraft, comic book artist and graduate student, gave a presentation about Japanese comics called Manga and her creative process.

As an undergrad, Haycraft wrote and illustrated the first chapter of her graphic novel “Revenant Aidenn” for her honors thesis. She is still currently working on this project

Towle, a comic book artist from Winston-Salem, led a workshop to teach kids basic drawing skills and encouraged them to use their imaginations.

Towle has written and illustrated several comics, some based on historical events. He is currently working on a web comic series called “Oyster War,” a tale about pirates that takes place in an alternate reality.

 

Story: CONNOR CHILDERS, Senior A&E Reporter
Photo: MAGGIE COZENS, Photo Editor