Sunday, April 26, 2009

Panel Discussion on Comics

This past Friday (April 24) I hosted a panel discussion on comics at the school where I teach, Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, IL. The members of the panel were Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt, and Matt Kindt, three comics creators from the St. Louis area.

This was the third time I've done this lecture at my college and the fifth time total that I've moderated such a panel (having done a lecture just like it in the spring semesters of 2003 and 2004 when I taught at Olney Central College). But this year marked the first time ever that the planets aligned, and I was able not only to record the guest lecture but also to upload it all to Youtube for everyone's viewing pleasure!

Now because my camera only allowed my camera operator (my wife Sarah) to record for ten minutes at a time, she had to do her best to stop and restart the camera between questions. She was more successful at that task in some videos than others, as will clearly be noticeable if you watch the videos themselves. But overall if you watch these videos you will be seeing 95% of what you would have seen had you actually been in the Olin Theatre in the Hatheway Cultural Center that fatfeul day.

And here they are:

Video one runs 9:47. In it the guys introduce themselves and then answer questions on their training in their fields and what influenced them in their formative years.

the second part runs 9:36. The panelists address why they chose comics as their creative medium, if there is still a stigma on comics as "kids' stuff," and what goes into writing a comic.

In the third video the guys discuss the pacing of comics as it related to ad placement or serialized comics vs. graphic novel length stories. It runs 9:34.

The fourth video deals with the collaborative nature of comics creating, transitioning into the need for criticism during the creative process, and runs 6:22 in length.

Video number five is 4:23 in length and in it I ask the artists of the panel about their creative process while drawing.

The sixth part of the lecture focuses first on the nitty-gritty aspects of publishing comics, doing work for hire for mainstream publishers or for smaller indie publishers and doing work you own yourself. Then we talk about art styles and how much they can bend to suit a particular genre. It's 9:29 in length

And the seventh and final video runs 8:29 and concludes the panel by talking briefly about color vs. black and white in comics before then taking a few questions from the audience (one final question which involved female readership of comics sadly got cut off midway through the responses, but I might try to do some editing and see if I can post a reconstruction of it at a later point).