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I've been teaching a part-time comic book course at VANARTS since 2005. It's been a pretty neat experience, helping artists hone their storytelling skills and teaching them all the knowledge that was either passed down to me from other creators or learned through my own trial and error.

In total, I've have 83 students complete my course so far. They all listened to me ramble on and nitpick their work for three hours every Monday night for twelve weeks and I hope that most of them walked away feeling stronger about their ability to craft a visual story.

I know not everyone is going to dedicate their life to comics. We all have our own priorities... and distractions. But I thought it would be nice to spotlight the students I've had who have continued their efforts to tell stories in the comic book medium.



Jeri was becoming a bit of a regular at the local Vancouver Comic Cons, selling her self-published comics and merch, well before she took my course. In collaboration with her sister, she's been serializing the fantasy webcomic DAQUERAN and she says the story should be wrapped up in the next few months. You can read it online:
...or buy the physical copies from their online store:

Recently they also organized and published an anthology of comics called GHOST TALES. I hear they'll be giving it a proper launch at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo in April. You can skip the wait and order it online now:

They're already working on a second anthology, this time a collection of Fairy and Folk tales. If you're an aspiring comic creator who wants to be part of a published book, you might want to check it out:

During my class, each student ends up creating a 4-page comic. Jeri chose to create a teaser for her next graphic novel endeavour, entitled THE BACHELOR AND THE PYTHON. You can read all four pages here:



Brinny has been posting some rather good autobio comics online. She's developed a nice sense of timing. Do yourself a favour and read through her archive here:

And she has some other comics tucked away in this corner of her site:



During my course, Toren crafted an admirable short comic entitled SPACESHIP ZERO, which acted as a prequel to a tabletop role-playing game which he also illustrated. I understand the concept for both spun out of the SPACESHIP ZERO album by his band The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets. That's a Renaissance man, right there. A couple years later Toren added a fifth page to the comic and published it in Cloudscape's EXPLODED VIEW anthology. You can read his comic here:

Toren's been involved in a couple of the other anthologies from the Cloudscape Comics collective and bump into him now and again at local comic-related events. The most recent comic work I've seen from him was part of his WORLD WILDLIFE FEDERATION OF JUSTICE:



Curt was another student who ended up with a piece in Cloudscape's EXPLODED VIEW anthology, which is available in print or PDF form from their online store:

And if you go to the Cloudscape site you can even read THE GIFT, the 4-page comic Curt did in my class:



Since she took my course I've seen Jenna set up at quite a few local conventions and book fairs, selling her mini-comics and sketch cards. Here's a little one-page comic called GAZING taht she sent me to share:

And here are the four pages that she drew at VanArts. A little story called THAT RAVE LAST NIGHT:



If you go to the following page of Anat's website, you'll find the webcomic THE THREAT WITHIN, which she was already collaborating on when she took my class:

I'm a little sad she hasn't put up the four-page comic she did during the course, since I thought it turned out quite well and showed a lot of improvement in her storytelling.

But I just touched base with her and she says she is working on a couple new comic projects, which I was glad to hear.



Emmett was also in the midst of doing a webcomic when he took my course. His was a strip called STARBUN:

He was doing regular instalments of the comic for quite a while but it looks like he fell off the comics wagon a couple summers ago. He did make it up to 170 comic strips, which is rather impressive. Here's hoping he gets back to it soon.



Ryan was in my second group of students, way back in 2005. He says he didn't do much comics right away but he's been getting back into the swing over the past year or so. As you can see on his blog, he's currently drawing a loose adaptation of a short story by Kobo Abe for an upcoming anthology.

I'm told he'll be printing up a new comic soon. You can see a few pages from his last self-published comic, GOLANTI, online:


And my last group had a few particularly enthusiastic and promising artists that I hope to see keep at it. If you guys are reading this, get crackin' so I can link to your awesome comics!

If you or anyone you know in the Vancouver area wants to join in the fun, my next course starts up on Monday, January 16th. You can find more info on the VanArts website:
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