Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Comic Making Tournament II: Templates 2

Since my last post about templates, here are comics that I've managed to go through the archives of:

Demonology 101
Zombies Calling

This leaves Nothing Nice to Say and Phineus, which I don't think I'll be able to get through before the tournament. New templates have been made:

Chaos Punks
Demonology 101
Freshman 15
Punks and Nerds
World of Orenda
Zombies Calling

Rip & Teri and Cool Cat Studios remain unused. I'm going to try to make a few before the tournament, but time is growing short. I finished getting the CCP cards printed and cut. 360 total - all of them based on Okashina Okashi - are ready for use.

I've also created 30 new templates called "Hybrids:" they're comic templates with blank panels inserted. Hybrid comics strike a balance between the comic templates and blank templates: they allow more creative freedom, as kids can use their own art to bridge panels and provide conclusions, while taking less time, because the student isn't drawing everything from scratch. Comics being used as hybrids:

Dinosaur Comics
Freshman 15
Ghastly's Ghastly Comic
No Rest For The Wicked
Okashina Okashi
Punks and Nerds
Rob and Elliot
Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki
Sluggy Freelance

More will likely be added soon, as hybrid comics are easy to make. Another nice feature is that they provide a way to recycle old templates that are otherwise retired.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Comic Making Tournament II: Events

In my first post about the comic tournament, I mentioned some of the events I was planning to run. Having thought it over, here's a (maybe) final list of what I have planned:

1. Introduction and Warm-up

I'll introduce the tournament and explain the logistics. Then there'll be some time put aside for warm-up exercises. This'll give kids a chance to get their creative juices flowing while also giving time for late comers.

2. Short-form Pre-drawn

As with the first tournament, this will be the first event. It worked well last time, so there won't be any changes to the format.

3. Hybrid

A new event. It's a cross between pre-drawn and original. The way it works is that I modify some of the existing templates, replacing one or more panels with blanks. This allows kids to finish a comic, start a comic, or even bridge two scenes with their own art. This kind of thing only really works with a single page at a time, so there's no "long-form" version.

4. Short-form Original

Like Short-form Pre-drawn, this worked very well the first time so it's not being changed.

5. Short-form Nonlinear

The second new event. This one uses the CCP card game I developed in March 2007 and have since been working to refine. Children are given six panels at random from a pile and have to construct a story with them, with points for creativity and originality. The panels are a mix of pre-drawn and blanks.

6. Long-form Pre-drawn

While I'm getting rid of "Long-form Original" due to it being a failure last year, I want to keep the other long-form style. I'll be modifying the event so the arcs have fewer pages and there'll only be one or two of them instead of three, which was too much. If I'm running short on time, this one will be cut.

7. Endurance

A modified form of "Speed." Kids are given a time frame and a never ending flow of comics to finish as fast as they can. Quantity is king, here.

8. Create a Comic Infinity

The third new event: a full run of the CCP card game. I'll talk about it more later, but it combines drawing panels at random from a pile with an attempt to approximate the infinite canvas in physical form by way of an expandable play grid. There are also goal slips (based on the slips in the Can of Inspiration) that can give extra points or special bonuses. Unlike the Short-form Nonlinear, this event will bring the kids together for competitive play. I expect this event to take the longest, which is why I've put it at the end.

There you have it: 7 events, 2 more than last year. I've had inquiries on the project from a couple schools, so I'm hoping attendance will be high.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Gallery and Site Update

The Tournament Gallery has been updated with a few pictures of the prizes I've bought so far for the second comic tournament. Instead of buying them online, I purchased these from a comic book store to help support the local business. The owner is a great guy who's helped me make contact with some local artists.

I'll be purchasing prizes from webcomics, next. T-shirts will be the major item, though I also plan to get a few mugs and a tote bag to vary it up. Pictures of that will be posted.

Additionally, the About page has been updated with a new link to a blog post and a new quote from the ASPH. I also updated the copyright info, adding the comics that recently joined.

Friday, February 22, 2008

ASPH Awards the Create a Comic Project

On February 22, 2008, the Create a Comic Project and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) were awarded a $2,000 grant from the Association of Schools of Public Health to help celebrate National Public Health Week. The grant came from the "This is Public Health" campaign challenge, which seeks to increase public awareness of public health through community outreach. The award is one of several being given to organizations nationwide.

The award was won with a proposal that brings together students from local schools for a mix of informational sessions and activities. The comic project will provide one of the two primary events planned. 150-200 children are expected to participate, drawn from schools in Pittsburgh's most disadvantaged neighborhoods. By being part of such a large outreach effort, it's hoped the comic project will gain a foothold into Pittsburgh schools that will allow the program to expand.

This is the Create a Comic Project's second major award to date, the first being the New Haven Neighborhood Small Grant from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Friday, February 15, 2008

National Public Health Week 3

The Create a Comic Project will be working with the University of Pittsburgh for National Public Health Week (NPHW), April 7 - 13.

I just finished submitting a proposal to the American Society of Public Health for a grant that will be used to fund a field trip for local K-8 students to one of the three off-campus venues. The money will cover the admission fee for about 150 children, as well as cost of materials. It's a nationwide competitive student grant, so hopefully we win.

I've also been busy printing out physical templates for use at the National Public Health Week events and the upcoming tournament and workshops.

One thing I'll be working on in March are a couple of presentations to deliver for NPHW: one on climate change (probably a historical retrospective, explaining nature's role in past climate change events) and another on public health in general. These presentations will then be meshed with the CCP to give the kids inspiration for their comics.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Welcome New Visitors!

Welcome to all the new readers coming here via the Dreamland Chronicles link. Poke around the archives, read the About page, and take a peak at the FAQ if you still have questions. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

New Comics Join

Two more comics have joined: "Phineus - Magician for Hire" and "Weirdlings," both by Barry Linck. Like Scott Hedlund, Barry is a local Pittsburgh comic creator and a great guy. Nice to have him on board!

Comic Making Tournament II: Templates

I'm almost done making templates for the Comic Making Tournament and the 3/10 and 3/13 workshops. Comics whose archives I've gone through since last update:

8-Bit Theater
Chaos Punks
College Roomies From Hell
Cool Cat Studios
Dreamland Chronicles
Punks and Nerds
Rip & Teri
World of Orenda

I still need to go through Demonology 101 and Nothing Nice to Say. A complete list of comics with templates ready for the tournament:

8-Bit Theater
And Shine Heaven Now
Awkward Zombie
Chugworth Academy
Coffee Achievers
College Roomies From Hell
Daisy is Dead
Dinosaur Comics
Dr. McNinja
Dreamland Chronicles
Faking Life
Flight (scanned in art from Kazu Kibuishi and Kean Soo)
Girl Genius
Hate Song
I Come From Mars
Lil' Formers
Lil' Mell
Little Dee
Lovarian Adventures
Mac Hall/Three Panel Soul
No Pink Ponies
No Rest for the Wicked
Okashina Okashi
Penny & Aggie
Penny Arcade
Piled Higher and Deeper
Planet Karen
Questionable Content
Return of Stickman
Rob and Elliot
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Seasons of Constancy
Shortpacked/It's Walky
Sluggy Freelance
Something Like Life
Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki
Tea Club
Templar, AZ
Tracy and Tristan
Tsunami Channel
Venus Envy

One other task I've started is getting the files in a format I can give to a print shop. Using an old copy of Pagemaker, I'll be assembling the templates into PDF files that'll be easy to process.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Comic Making Tournament II: Materials

I last posted about the second Comic Making Tournament (March 8) in September. Since then, other things like National Public Health Week have taken center stage. However, I have not lost track of this event, as my preparations for the canceled 11/20 workshop and the 12/29 workshop were useful in preparing for the tournament.

One thing I've been busy doing is making templates of the new comics that joined, such as CRFH and 8-Bit Theater. I'm also working on a CCP comic book for kids and adults that covers some of the material I teach and includes ready-to-use templates. Artists have already begun work on it; I'll have more details toward the end of this month.

I'm also starting to buy prizes for the children. One item I bought the other day: Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi. It's a great all-ages graphic novel and since Mr. Kibuishi has agreed to let me use his art in the CCP, I'll be using scans from the book as part of the tournament itself. That way, kids will first interpret the scenes in their own words and then be able to read the original!

Another item I'll be picking up soon: the Jellaby graphic novel by Kean Soo. Mr. Soo is also a great all-ages artist who's lent his support to the CCP, so his book will receive the same treatment and double as both learning tool and reward. Other prizes I plan to get include webcomic t-shirts, various kid-friendly manga volumes, and perhaps a few volumes of Bone.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Site Update

The Links page has been updated with banners for all the new additions: 8-Bit Theater, CRFH, Dreamland Chronicles, etc.