Comic enthusiasts crack the code to self-publishing at SIBF 2019
A dedicated station to this form of art offers young artists a platform to express their creativity at Sharjah International Book Fair
Sharjah, 3 November 2019:“When I started making comics, everybody said I was crazy. I was working in a school and teaching comics sometimes, but to pursue it as a career…” Merek Bennett, the cartoonist who created the famous multi volume set of The Civil War Diary of Freeman Colby, stops halfway into sharing his musings with his young audience, smiling nostalgically.
He then bends forward to correct the sketch of a young participant who was attending his workshop on self-publishing, at Sharjah International Book Fair’s Comic Station (SIBF 2019).
Around 20 children were walked through the various stages of developing an 8-page comic book, right from learning how to create a ‘Splash or Cover page’, to picking a character and developing a story using the famous PIE (pencil, ink and erase) process.
Going a bit further to reveal a few secrets of the craft, Merek noted, “in comics the most important thing is to find something that you are curious about, something you want to spend your time with.”
While handing out ink pens to each child, the artist gives his young wards a piece of advice: “the drawings need to be big and bold, and a story progresses with the actions and the reactions of characters you visualised. That’s how you build a sequence and ultimately a complete story”.
Merek wraps up the class with a handy tip, “Practice it as a hobby – start like that. If you find yourself staying up late at night drawing your comics because you are so into it, then that reflect in your work, and soon you’ll find that the world wants more of your comics”.