Monday, November 14, 2011

Comics Fans Mob BAM For Weekend Workshops

Posted By on Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 6:45 AM

As part of its Comics at the Crossroads exhibition, the Boise Art Museum enlisted comics writers and artists for a day of workshops on Nov. 12.

From their turn of the century inception, comics have followed a meteoric rise from pulp kids' fare to what is undoubtedly its own art form. But the path wasn't blazed without controversy.

In 1954, the United States Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency asked comic book publishers and artists to testify on the impact of their work on children. The ensuing press caused by the hearings moved the industry to adopt the Comics Code Authority, a regulatory code which served as a censoring force until the last publishers removed themselves in 2011.

An evening seminar at BAM covered controversy in comics, and was led by American Civil Liberties Union Idaho Executive Director Monica Hopkins and comics writer/Portland Mercury editor Erik Henriksen.


Writer Jamie S. Rich and illustrator Joelle Jones
  • Writer Jamie S. Rich and illustrator Joelle Jones taught workshop attendees how to make it big in the comics world.

Artist Joelle Jones and writer Jamie S. Rich are the creators of Spellcheckers Vols. 1 and 2, and the graphic novels You Have Killed Me and 12 Reasons Why I Love Her. Together they hosted a workshop on how to make dreams of a career in the competitive comics market a reality.

The 15-person class was given the scenario, "a detective corners a bad guy, what happens?" and told to run with it. One artist created a bearded, grizzled detective. Another incorporated a police dog.

"Some of them used characters they’d used before,” said Jones. Some were completely original; others adapted their style to the assignment.

“Some of them were really shy at first,” added Rich. "It was fascinating to see how people did different things … two of them even added full captions and dialogue."


The Comics at the Crossroads exhibition features work from myriad artists, including a site-specific installation from Daniel Duford.
  • The Comics at the Crossroads exhibition features work from myriad artists, including a site-specific installation from Daniel Duford.

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