Crazy for Comics

If you have not had the opportunity to read The Wolfsonian  July E-Proganda newsletter you may have missed the article written about Comic Kraze. Make sure to check it out at:;138667;176446;-1;87816;105 or read it below!

Unpredictable, Mini Comic, 2010 Jennifer Cruz

Fourteen Miami-Dade County teens recently participated in an exciting pilot arts program at The Wolfsonian to learn the basics of creating comics and graphic novels. The free, two-week program took place June 21 through July 2 in The Wolfsonian’s Digital Wolf Design Lab. Comic Kraze was team-taught by three instructors who each contributed something different to the students. Jessica Abel, a Brooklyn-based cartoonist and writer who teaches at the School of Visual Arts and is author of the graphic novel La Perdida and co-author of the book Drawing Words & Writing Pictures, was joined by two local instructors. Miami artist Caiphus Moore’s work spans disciplines and includes fine art, illustration, video, photography, and video games. Gonzalo Battaglia is a Miami-Dade County art teacher, a museum educator assigned to The Wolfsonian, and a cartoonist about to self-publish a two-volume work. During the intensive program, students were taught traditional and new digital tools and design strategies used to create comics. They engaged in several collaborative storyboarding and drawing exercises, produced three different types of polished comics, and learned a range of computer skills from how to optimize their work using Photoshop to creating templates in InDesign to blogging. “Classes like this are great, because they really gets kids thinking about how words and images work together to create meaning,” said Abel, interviewed on the fifth day of the workshop. She structured the workshop so that the first few days were primarily drawing exercises, with students quickly moving on to produce more individual work, some of which they posted online on a blog created for the course.

“It’s like boot camp for comics,” commented Wolfsonian manager of youth and school programs Claudia Caro Sullivan, noting how hard the students were working and how engaged they were with the material. None of the students had significant experience creating comics prior to the workshop. “I’m liking it a lot,” said Ashley Wyche, who will be a senior at Miami Central Senior High School in the fall. Wyche, who hopes to attend an art institute after high school, enrolled in the course to expand her art experience. “I’m trying to experiment with different things. This workshop is great because we’re learning from professionals and getting help. In school, there are forty students in my art classes.” To view examples of the students’ work and learn more about the pilot program, visit the blog. The Comic Kraze program is funded by The Children’s Trust. The Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County. From support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. The Wolfsonian thanks the supporters of the Digital Wolf Design Lab: Carnival Foundation; HSBC Private Bank; Harry S. Kramer Memorial Fund; Wachovia A Wells Fargo Company; Citi Foundation; and Continental Airlines, the Official Airline of The Wolfsonian–FIU.

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