These are the colorful words that bring a still comic to life. And they were well used this week during the McPherson Recreation Commission class Graphic Start.
The class, instructed by Rebecca Lewis, was two-fold and allowed fifth- through ninth-grade students to choose their creative path. They could draw a comic strip or create an identity set. About a dozen students — mostly boys — participated in the class.
“Creativity really pours out of the kids,” Lewis said. “What we do is to show them how to tie things together.”
Those who chose comics created a scenario on a multi-paneled paper with a beginning, middle and end. In many cases, the story called for eye-catching onomatopoeias.
Rhys Vanderhoof, 10, chose to continue a series he draws in his free time. It involves 7UP Penguin, a character derived from a memory game his teacher taught his class in school. In this week’s comic, the penguin’s adventure is similar to Indiana Jones, except he is traveling to the Temple of Sprite.
He makes this comic with his friends and enjoys how comics are filled with adventure.
“Every time you turn the corner, you’re surprised,” he said.
Justin Uvall, 12, also continued his own series, which features a stick man with a mustache. In this episode, the man thought his friend was killed, but he was actually sleeping.
Glynn Wolf, 12, centered his story around deep sea divers who enter in what they think is a cave, but turns out to be a shark’s mouth. They do not survive.
Cooper Courtney, 11, drew an interaction between SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick. Courtney said he likes making comics because they’re easy to draw.
“You can make up your own thing, and no one’s going to judge you about it,” he said.
Students who chose to make an identity set produced beginning graphic design work. They had to create a brand and produce a logo that would go on every piece of work, including a letterhead, business card and envelope. This taught them unity and repetition.
Brands chosen included an acting school, record company and a music instruction business.
Lewis said learning to communicate visually will help them no matter what career path they choose.
“Our visual media is everywhere,” she said. “It’s a part of who these kids are. It’s inherent to them. If they can think like that and pull that together, I think there’s always a market.
“That’s what graphics is. It’s pushing ideas and communicating. It’s more of a trade than an art form.”
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