Comic Creations: comic artists talk at Get Lit!

Man standing in front of projection of single comic pane.

Get Lit! is an annual festival in Spokane where local writers talk about their experience or run workshops to help with writing skills. Each year is a little different, with topics this year ranging from poetry slams to writing workshops and panels.

One of the events I went to was called Comic Creations. A five-dollar purchase got me a four pack of posters made by the panelists. As far as events go, this one was decently sized with about twenty people attending.

Before I went to the event, I didn’t think comics aren’t just about superheroes or political cartoons. Many of these comic artists drew scenes from their own life or created a story that borrowed from literary themes such as character or setting (I suppose that’s why they were at Get Lit!).

Derrick Freeland

Derrick is the leader of Spokane Sequential, a group of comic artists who design a monthly magazine. Derrick talked about his upcoming graphic novel and how the novel reflected his own life. He brought in examples of characters and how they were symbols of his parents, himself, and the parents he always wanted.

Derrick’s art style was the most realistic of the four styles I saw that day. His work was shaded and even his fantastical elements seemed as though they would fit in the world he created.

Tiffany Patterson

Tiffany talked about how she started out as a painter and moved into creating comics. She talked about her paintings and talked about how she started to move away from her perfectionist style by drawing messy lines in the background of her works.

Tiffany’s work had a surreal aspect to it. The main comic she discussed had a Where the Wild Things Are feel to it, with monsters and a child who travels to a magical forest. Her other artwork had fantastical elements with a few femurs and plenty of bright colors.

Chelsea Martin

Chelsea started out as an artist and began to create long descriptions for her works. She then moved into writing and finally became a comic writer. She worked with human interaction and awkwardness.

Many of Chelsea’s comics featured people looking at the floor, awkward silences, and vague relationships. Some of the awkward pauses were uncomfortable in a way that felt realistic and interesting. Her art style was very realistic and had few if any instances of fantastical elements.

Simeon Mills

Simeon talked about how he created his comics. Simeon took photographs of himself acting character expressions and then drew the character in sharpie on the reverse side of the photograph. He redrew each face to make each panel of his comic.

Simeon’s work was completely two dimensional with no shading. His drawings were very detailed with mustaches made from individual lines and highly expressive characters.

A bit about Get Lit!

While this year’s Get Lit! festival has ended, you can check out the website in spring of next year and view the schedule for 2019.

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