A couple of days ago I did something very cool and new for me: a comics "chalk talk" at our county children's home arranged by my wife Karen. We had about a dozen kids ranging from 7 to 17: foster youth, youth taken from their homes for one reason or another, but not bad kids. This place is a refuge, not juvenile hall.
|Starting a page of faces, showing the wide variety of expressions you can convey with just two eyes, eyebrows and a mouth.|
|The little redheaded boy in front loved the fact that the Cosmic Kid was a redhead, too.|
I don't have much experience drawing and talking at the same time, and none doing so with kids, but they were great and it went well. A highlight for me was making two comics with them in which I drew something and asked them, "And then what happened?" and drew that, and whatever happened after that, and after that. They got into it and created two pretty good comics.
Another nice moment: as we were leaving after the talk, a too-cool-for-school teenage girl came up and shyly asked me if I could draw Iron Man for her. I sent that off with Karen the next morning.
|Ol' Shellhead, with the girl's name cropped.|
Given their circumstances, I also talked about comics as a good way to tell their own personal stories, using "Mom's Cancer" as an example (I left my books for the facility's library). It was a special evening.