Last week Eleanor and I co-taught a weeklong “Comic Books & Manga” camp for teens. Not something either of us had done before, and for the first couple days, incredibly nerve-wracking! I was practically pulling all-nighters, just going through millions of comics and how-to-draw books and scanning pictures for ridiculous handouts – before I learned to just relax and concentrate on what we were actually doing in the class. Not that it wasn’t hard – but kids don’t care about handouts, its about the experience.
One of the hardest parts was breaking down techniques into the most basic components. It’s so easy to miss a simple step, just because you’ve done it so many times you never think about it. Like, erasing pencils after you ink! Or applying white-out after you erase. And Eleanor already posted something about this, but we were both kind of amazed by just how much the kids wanted to draw. Having both gone to art school, we’d seen 4 years of kids’ excuses, half-assery, literal bragging about the lack of work put into projects, and general malaise… We made this set of “inspiration cards” that a kid could draw out of a bag, if they claimed not to have any ideas. And not a single kid needed them!
It was a simultaneously humbling and inspiring experience – I think we’re both psyched to do it again.
Here’s a nice review of Set to Sea up to now. And speaking of that, Set to Sea will resume next week. I’m going to do a rather wacky thing, and start running the whole comic from the beginning. During the down time, I thrashed out the end of the story, and found that I had to revise some earlier scenes to bring it all together. Nothing too major, but there are a few new panels, and a bit of minor changes to some existing ones. So the best way to go about it seems to reboot! And I’m thinking, twice weekly, till the end.