On Friday, Sept. 14, a small group of people assembled at the main table in The Workshop, a collaborative arts and crafts space in the basement of Hewitt 8. Veterans of Comics, a club dedicated to the creation and exchange of comic books and illustrations, welcomed new members at their inaugural meeting, during which they discussed their hopes and plans for the future.
Through the years, the club’s membership has ebbed and flowed. This year, Comics is hoping to recruit new and impassioned members, and create a space which encourages creative exchange.
First, each member of the group gave a brief introduction and explained why they love comics. Each person gave some insight into their specific interest in writing and drawing comics. Club members Rafe Forman ’20 and Declan Moy Bishow ’19 led the discussion. They began by going over some of the goals they hope for Comics to accomplish this year.
They hope to create a consistent publication that is open to everyone, not just the active members of the club.
“We want the publication to be open to submissions to the larger student body because we know it’s hard to commit to coming,” Forman said. “We would love to grow. We would love to see more people coming to Comics.”
Additionally, they want to set up comic workshops, giving people time to work freely on their extracurricular creative pursuits.
“It was a pretty informal structure previously, and we want to keep that, in the sense that people can have the time to work on their own projects,” Forman said. “But we also want to work harder to provide resources for people who are starting up.”
This semester, Moy Bishow and Forman are taking on the role of facilitating the club’s meetings. They have plans to apply for WSA funding, and hope to receive official recognition from the University come this spring. Though both Moy Bishow and Forman are excited about Comics’ future, they admit that the process by which they rose through the ranks and became quasi-leaders of the club was rather haphazard.
“We just kind of hopped on board in the beginning to get this meeting and stuff together,” Moy Bishow said.
After talking some logistics, the club delved into an activity called “six second animal” (which soon turned into “six to ten second animal”). Each round, one person volunteered to pick an animal. In the subsequent six to ten seconds, each club member had to draw the animal. When time ran out, they put their pictures in the center of the table. Hilarity ensued as the half-drawn giraffes and slightly malformed alligators were passed around the circle, reminding everyone of the spontaneity and humor that can make the creative process so wonderful.
These activities are a centerpiece for comics, and serve as a way for the group to know each other and themselves. Moy Bishow wants people to feel comfortable with their artistic abilities, and emphasized that one need not have any background in art to join the club.
“I think a lot of people want to write comics, but don’t feel comfortable drawing,” Moy Bishow said. “[But] I definitely think…that you don’t need any [specific skills] to draw a comic.”
As the club meeting came to a close, the group discussed their goals for the next meeting. While creating a publication is one of the group’s central goals, they are also eager to simply meet and talk about the comics they like, give one another recommendations, and get feedback from other members about their own work.
Though Comics may sound like a niche club, focused only on one very specific form of art and illustration, it is at its core a space for creative minds to work together.
Jordan Saliby can be reached at email@example.com.