Writing, art students showcase comics

Photo by Annie Agee.

Janeal Downs
Staff Writer

Students from the fall 2013 experimental class “Collaborating on Comics” debuted comic book art on Friday, Jan. 24 in a month long exhibit at the Artspace gallery in Richmond.

Ten graduate creative writing students and ten communication arts undergraduate students participated in the class and gallery, combining skills to make comics over the semester.

Communication arts junior Ellen Havasy paired with graduate creative writing student Rebecca Forbes to present a 12-page comic book made during the class at the exhibit.

“I’ve drawn comics since I was 8 years old and was able to hold a crayon,” Havasy said. “My very first comic I drew was one about ninja cats, so this is something I’ve been interested in for a very long time.”

Havasy and Forbes worked together to create a comic book about villagers who were tired of waiting on King Arthur, so they went on a journey to take the sword to him.

“I really enjoyed myself and I think I created work that I would like to put in a portfolio some day,” Havasy said. “It really was just a lot of fun and I’m glad that comics are being taken seriously as an art form.”

Students began the class by making one panel comics, then four panel comics, three page comics and finally created an ongoing comic of eight to 12 pages respectively, said communication arts professor Kelly Alder.

Creative writing professor Tom De Haven co-taught the experimental course with Alder.

The idea for this class was brought up many times to De Haven, but was not established until the fall semester, Alder said.

Both Alder and De Haven worked in comics previously, even collaborating on a book together.

“The opportunity came up for me to approach De Haven) for doing the class, which is a cross-disciplinary course between the creative writing students and the communication arts students,” Alder said.

Some students raised money to produce one large full color comic book with six stories using classwork, Alder said. The book will be sold for $10 at their exhibit.

Artspace is located at Zero E 4th Street in Richmond. The exhibit will be on display until Feb. 23 and is open from  7-10 p.m.

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