Aspiring comics book artists, look no further than Lawn Gnome Publishing.
The secondhand bookstore will feature a comic book drawing workshop every Tuesday evening beginning this week led by comic book artist Matthew Molleur, Aaron Johnson, owner of Lawn Gnome Publishing, said.
“This is going to be a cool thing for underground publishers or people trying to get into it,” Johnson said.
Molleur, who has over 20 years of experience with comic book art, said he sees the workshop as more than just a comic book drawing session but as a way to bring people together and even share other forms of art.
“For the most part, I want to give people a chance to bet back into (drawing),” Molleur said.
The hour-long workshop, which begins at 7 p.m., will be taught outside the storefront with a projector screen and will focus on a specific topic each week such as drawing specific features, panels or backgrounds, Johnson said.
Aspiring artists and experienced comic book authors alike are invited to attend the workshop, Molleur said, and it’s easy to come and go throughout the weeks.
The workshop is free with a suggested $5 donation. Participants will need to bring their own paper, pencils, pens or whatever else they would like to work with, Johnson said.
Johnson said he is uncertain how many people will attend, but he’s hopeful that it “will keep getting better and better.” He said he could see the workshop as an “interesting date.”
“You can meet a girl who’s into comics and invite her to go,” Johnson said. “I can see them sitting there drawing together having a good time, then going to get coffee or a drink across the street.”
Johnson said he will also be participating in Tuesday’s session.
“I wanted to be a comic book artist before I got into poetry,” he said.
Johnson said he hopes to be able to publish some of the comic books and sell them at Lawn Gnome. Graphic novels and comic books tend to more popular than some of the other magazines sold at the store, he said.
Joshua Wiss, 21 of Phoenix, said he is a big fan of comic books and has always wanted to be a comic book artist. Wiss said he hopes to one day publish a book.
“I’m really excited for everything I can learn and working with an artist,” he said.
Wiss, who said he’s been doodling for years, wants to learn anything he can from Molleur during the workshops, particularly about traditional black-and-white comics.
“I feel like black and white has a lot of power,” he said. “With color, there are so many shades in between. Colors make (drawing) easier. You can really make a point with black and white.”
Journalism sophomore Zach Holland said he may also attend the workshop.
“It’s kind of cool. You have all the super heroes and the super powers kids are obsessed with. I’m definitely a kid at heart,” he said.
Holland said he is particularly interested in learning how comic book artists come up with the concept for their own books.
“Not many people realize how much work goes into putting a story into a comic book,” he said.
Holland said the workshop could generate more creativity for aspiring artists who attend.
The workshop compliments a book Molleur wrote being published by Lawn Gnome entitled, “Why and How to Make Your Own Comics,” which ironically doesn’t have any drawings in it. Johnson said the book features simple language so anyone can pick it up and begin drawing.
“When you look at a lot of these books, you see how other people draw and you think to yourself ‘I can’t do this’ and stop,” Molleur said. “You have to find what you’re comfortable with, so the book only tells you how to do it.”
Johnson said there is no other community for comic book artists other than comic conventions.
Molleur spent a considerable amount of time trying to get into the business—working regular jobs on the side—and has now published many comic books and even some political cartoons.
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