Thursday, October 26, 2006

Art Teacher for a Day

Yesterday I was invited to St. Fabian school, an excellent elementary school just a few miles from my home, to do a day of drawing/cartooning lessons for all the students. It was a lot of fun, and I sure saw some terrific drawings being made. Normally I'm invited to schools to focus on reading and writing, so it was an interesting change of pace to turn my attention to drawing instead.

My favorite part was teaching kids how to draw facial expressions on cartoon characters. I did one lesson in which I showed a guy with a bored expression, then showed the same guy with an extremely shocked expression (bugged out eyes and all), then finally showed him with an angry expression (steam shooting out of his ears and all). It really is amazing what a difference a few scribbly little lines can make in changing the emotion of a cartoon character.

Now it's back to work on my new graphic novel series. Right now I'm in the middle of a sequence that takes place inside a small Japanese "mom and pop" grocery store. I've tried very hard to convey what it feels like to be in such a store on a hot summer's day, with the interior quite dark and shadowy and blinding white light pouring in through the doorway. One way in which my comic will stand out (I hope) from other manga-style comics is in the use of atmospheric lighting. There are points where I devote hours and hours to a single page--even a single panel--just trying to put the reader in the scene, using light and shadows to create a cinematic effect. I'm really looking forward to unveiling some of this work. I'm sitting on top of almost 200 pages of finished comic book pages right now, and I'm dying to show them to someone other than my publisher!

All right, time to sign off and get back to those pages...


Blogger Li"Bear"y Lady said...

Hi Mark,

Thanks for all your kind words. The kids just loved having you back again this year. Looking forward to "Pieces of Gax" and many more titles.


6:22 AM  
Blogger Mark Crilley said...

Thanks for the comment, Abbey! I still feel a little like I'm "blogging into the void" at this point, so it's nice to know you stopped by!



11:49 AM  
Blogger Bored said...

Wow, that's seriously cool. I kinda wouldn't have the patients to teach kids how to draw, (maybe because I really am one too, lol) nice post. :)

6:21 PM  

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