Illustration Students Teach Comics

Illustration students have partnered with local comic book shop Vault of Midnight to create a fun event beneficial to all. On Saturday, Feb 23, Coordinator of Illustration Durwin Talon and senior illustrators held an afternoon of creative fun for kids at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. Durwin and students taught fifteen kids ages 6-16 the fundamentals of comic making, where the kids then thought up a plotline and illustrated their own comic panels, which will be collectively made into a comic book and sent out to them. The seniors guide the children in developing a story, planning out the pages, and how to illustrate the events.

This is the first year this event has been held, and it’s a great form of community outreach the department plans to continue. Durwin Talon and his partner, Guin Thompson, create comics for a living and have made collaborative comic book Beautiful Scars, which is soon to get a sequel and historical biography. Durwin was impressed with how the kids are grasping concepts without being taught, such as character designs and panel emphasis. They were quite the smart bunch.

Vault of Midnight has been giving GVSU students a table to set up their wares to raise money for their senior projects for the third consecutive year. Guin Thompson, who is the assistant chair of culture and community in the VMA department, and a handful of students displayed and sold various handmade items such as prints, stickers, and pins. She instructs Intro to Illustration, Portfolio, Graphic Design for illustrators, and Advanced Illustration and worked with the students last semester. Students also sold works at the Nomad Gallery by Richard App, right across the street.

Funds for senior thesis shows can be expensive, and these events have allowed students an opportunity to not only sell their art, but also hand out information to people about their senior shows and bring more publicity to the wonder visual and media arts programs Grand Valley offers. The Collective Exhibition will e at the Nomad Gallery on Saturday, April 20 from 5 to 9 p.m.

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