Many students choose to attend Stout for its reputation of strong core programs and its wide variety of majors to choose from. The Comics concentration of the Entertainment Design major is one of the things to come out of those options, and with the major, came the Comic Creators.
“We’re a relatively new organization; we’ve only been around for four or five years. It started out as people getting together to make comics, but has evolved into a community of comic artists who want to create their own original comics,” said the president of Comic Creators, Brenna Lesnar, who is a senior in Entertainment Design with a Comics concentration.
The Comic Creators do many different things to promote their artists’ work. While attending comic conventions where their original comics are sold, they take the opportunity to network with professionals in the Comics industry, and to give artists opportunities outside of Stout or after they graduate. Lesnar explained that Comic Creators is more about building up each individual artist, instead of their organization as a whole.
“We’re about creating comics and original work. Too often in the comics industry, people feel very isolated and alone in their work. It’s really great to have a community on campus to get feedback and have that workshop.” Lesnar said. “We really push teamwork and working together, because you learn a lot that way.”
As well as attending conventions, the Comic Creators have other ways of promoting and improving their artists’ work. For Valentine’s Day, they create and sell small $1 cards, as well as personalized cards that would require a commission.
The Comic Creators are also working to bring in speakers from the Comic industry. On Thursday, November 3, Carla Speed McNeil will be speaking in Micheels 290 at 7p.m.. This is a public event that all students are welcome to attend. She will be speaking about her experience in the comics industry and answering any questions from students.
The Comic Creators also did a 24 hour comics event in the beginning of October. Lesnar explained that the goal of the event is to draw 24 pages of comics in 24 hours. Out of the 30 participants they had, six or seven completed the task.
Lesnar also talked about the importance of having writers and artists collaborate. She explained they want to be “writer-friendly” in order to attract more people to join and have a wider community.
All of the work the Comic Creators do is voluntary. There may be deadlines for certain projects, but Lesnar said they are usually given at least a month ahead of time.
“We aren’t a class, so we don’t want to overwhelm people,” she said, and explained how artists are free to opt in or out of these projects if they don’t feel fit.
At the Comic Creators meetings, they either talk about general events, vote on projects, workshop or have activities, such as “jam comics.” This, Lesnar explained, is where you start with one panel and you pass it around to the other artists and build onto the comic as a whole. “The results end up being pretty ridiculous,” Lesnar said.
Ultimately, Lesnar said their organization is about making art and promoting their people.
“Even if you’ve never made a comic before, we want you there. We want all artists, all writers, because all that matters is that you’re out there and making it,” she stated.