6.21.2006

wrangling kids for fun + profit*

At a poetry slam earlier this year, Ryk from 7000 BC met the Education Coordinator at SFAI. As a result, she asked Ryk and 7000 BC to teach two two-week summer workshops on making comics.

Ryk's done some workshops before, but they're usually one-offs. This was his first time teaching over an extended period. And I'd never done anything like it before. But, because of my "freelancer's" (read: "empty") schedule, I was the only other one in the group who could help Ryk out every day. A few others from the group came for mornings, or the odd day, and one guy — whose nephew was in the class — came most days. Which was good, because we needed all the help we could get.

There were about 10 kids in the workshop (it fluctuated, depending on other day camps/activities), ages ranging from 7 to 12. The kids were amazing: really creative and, dang, full of, uhm... energy. The mother of one of the more, shall we say, "outgoing" kids told Ryk, "he's like this all the time." I don't know how she's not dead. I honestly don't know how teachers, who handle three times as many kids, for twice as long, every day, aren't dead! (Amy S., Kelly DeG., Jen G., you all should be making, like, a million dollars a year, as far as I'm concerned.) Ryk's curriculum ran, more or less, week 1: learn the parts (comics in general, story, characters, drawing techniques, planning), and week 2: putting everything together. It didn't quite work out that way; most kids just wanted to jump right in and draw their stuff. I'm not sure how much of the planning/background stuff sunk in.

[click photos for larger]

     
 
  
     

But, in the end, they all got to make their own (xeroxed) books, which was super cool. Sample titles: Of Dragons + Frogs; Elephant Town, Part 3; CIA Slug; and The Ham Demon of Dooooooom! I got to take them down to the admin offices (one or two at a a time, thankfully), and show them how to make the master pages for copying, and teach them how to put their books together. That was my favorite part... well, that and going out for beers after the workshop ended last Friday.
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* All $$ went to 7000 BC — someday we'll print Hospital Stories...

11 comments:

jraphael said...

I want to know what happened in Parts One and Two of Elephant Town.

monica said...

so do I.

pagalina said...

my favorite is "The Ham Demon of Dooooooom!" including the extra oooo's. brilliant!

DadM said...

Good work!
Its never too early for the little punkatatoes to learn how to celebrate making a deadline. And beer is a good choice - they are so not ready for Margs yet.

Sherry said...

Jen agrees on the beer... but has been known to bang back the occasional Margarita after a loooong day, of which there have been many=:)

monica said...

Pagey: I'm thinking I should really scan + make PDFs of all the books. Except that it would be a pain and what with me being lazy and all. Although, the world does need to see The Ham Demon...

DadM: they're such lightweights!

Sherry: Jen needs to hire a gorgeous man-servant to serve her 'Ritas + rub her feet. She can pay him with that $1 million she's getting from me! :)

Bram said...

A clarification for those who aren't from my family: my fencing coach when I was in high school was an Olympic-level fencer from Puerto Rico. By day, he was an elementary art school teacher, and invariably referred to his students as "little punkatatoes" in his spectacular accent

monica said...

I always thought it was spelled "punkatayta."

Sherry said...

Monica, no need to worry about Jen. School finished today and she leaves Tuesday for a MONTH in Hawaii! She'll be teaching summer school (only from 8 to 12 each day) for 14 days and being well paid!

pagalin said...

maybe take one good image from each and load to cafe press so the kids can have T-shirts! whoa. that's, like, BRILLIANT!

monica said...

nice one, Pagey!
you really missed your blogs when you were in NH, didn't ya? :)