Comics Students Sell Their Work

This semester, students who previously completed the introductory comics-making class honed their skills even further in the mastering comics course, taught by Bram Meehan. Now, students will be presenting their finished products to the public by selling their work at Big Adventure Comics shop.

A close up of Ronnie Garcia's sketches for her comic book. Photo by Kyleigh Carter.

A close up of Ronnie Garcia’s sketches for her comic book. Photo by Kyleigh Carter.

Meehan noted that one of the biggest changes, when working with more advanced students in teaching the development of comics this semester, has been that he was able to focus on aspects of the medium that are sometimes overlooked.

“We began with a lot of idea generation and refinement, and moved on to creating a pitch document, the kind you would submit to a publisher to get a contract,” Meehan said. “We had legendary thriller writer David Morrell, creator of “Rambo,” talk about crafting story and making a creative career, before moving on to scripting. We’ve been able to spend time on everything from designing characters to figuring how they talk, to writing up press releases to teaching high-schoolers the language of comics.”

Digital Arts major Ronnie Garcia said she has found the class to be a great space to advance her craft and that this semester has been a time for her and her peers to produce work in a capacity they haven’t been able to before.

“This is the first time we’re making an actual sort of comic book to make and sell to the public as opposed to just turning it in for a grade,” Garcia said. “It’s kind of intimidating but also really exciting to have an actual physical product of your work in the way that it’s sort of intended to be. We’re learning how to be professional comic artists.”

Bram Meehan teaches Creating Comics. Photo by Kyleigh Carter.

Garcia’s peer, Maggie Juarez, said that she has had a similar experience while taking the class. “It’s sort of that experience where you can only learn by just jumping in,” Juarez said.

Juarez went on to say that she learned a great deal of valuable information that she wouldn’t have gained without Meehan’s help, such as how to space out/format a page of a comic.

Meehan expressed pride in the work his students have been developing in preparation for the sale. He observed that there is a wide variety of subject matter at play in this work, in addition to a broad assortment of styles. Meehan works for Big Adventure comics part time and was able to arrange the event. He said he believes that even if his students do not continue to sell their work in this capacity, the ability to “pitch” it and hold an audience is still vastly important.

“In independent comics publishing, presenting your work at a convention is one of the most important skills you can develop, so some sort of sale was always part of my plan for the class,” Meehan said. “Standing behind your table and selling your work…it’s really pretty intense, looking someone in the eye and getting them to hand you money for something you made. It’s the sort of real-world exposure to audience reactions that creatives can rarely get, to see firsthand how and what people respond to in your story. That kind of feedback also quickly informs how present yourself and your work.”

The students from Meehan’s class will be selling their work at Big Adventure Comics starting at 1 p.m., Saturday, April 30.