Friday, December 9, 2016

In Which I Attend a Comic Book Demo

Image result for comic books

I stepped into another world last weekend and attended a free demo at my art supply store given by local illustrator and comic book artist Kevlen Goodner. He was just the nicest fellow and quite fashionable. He wore suspenders, a sports jacket, and one of those little flat cloth hats.

I really had no idea what to expect and was fascinated by his presentation. I was sitting in the front row - there were maybe twelve of us in attendance - and he was very gracious in answering all my questions.

He showed us his process from pencil sketch through inking and then adding color. He said he gets many requests at comic conventions and through his own studio to create a portrait of someone and turn him or her into a favorite comic book character - Batman, Spiderman, Wolverine. For this demo, he used the photo of a woman, sketched it in pencil, inked it, and added watercolor. Et voila! Wonder Woman.

I was impressed that he could answer questions and work at the same time. I took notes but wish I had taken photos. 

Kevlen Goodner
I did find this online photo of artist Kevlen Goodner.

Even though I enjoyed his presentation, I don't quite get the attraction of comic books or graphic novels. They are just not in my world. I did read the Archie comics when I was growing up as they were about teenagers and school and romance. I loved the tales of Betty and Veronica, Archie and Jughead with his funny hat.

As far as superhero comics went, I never got interested in them. I did watch the Superman television show - I mean the man could fly! And of course there was Lois Lane, reporter, with her notebook and pen. Who knew I would grow up to have a job like hers?

I asked Mr. Goodner what the appeal of the superhero characters was. He answered that the heroes and villains are our modern mythology with themes of good vs evil, justice, pride, and vengeance. For instance, he said, Superman is straight up a messiah story - he is not really human but is among us, helping us.

The comics and graphic novels I have seen are too bleak. There are words and figures and backgrounds in the panels and I never know where to look first.

All that said, I did enjoy the demo and seeing the process of creating a different art form. And Kevlen was a most talented fellow. It is always a pleasure to watch someone do what they do well.

What comic books did you read when you were growing up?


  1. This is very weird: I remember waiting eagerly for the next edition of a comic book series to come out on the news stands - but I can't for the life of me remember what one I was so enchanted by! Maybe that says something about comics, or at least about me.

    1. That's funny Joan. Ah, youth. What was so very important then sometimes falls by the wayside.

      I remember pestering my dad to hurry up and read the section of the newspaper that had the comic pages so I could see what was happening that day! Oh, how I loved Peanuts, Nancy, and Dagwood. I even liked the soap opera ones such as Rex Morgan MD and Apartment 3-G. Now I don't even take a newspaper...

      I hope you remember the series that you enjoyed. Let me know if you do.

  2. Very cool and educational. I'm not one for comics and grahpic novels generally, but I've read a couple of graphic memoirs recently (if that's a thing) and enjoyed them. I also liked the Archie comics growing up!

    I went to see a presentation by Mary Grand Pre, the illustrator of the Harry Potter books (among MANY other things), and it was so interesting. She was a lovely person, and so patient with all the various questions.

    1. I love meeting such creative people, Kathy. I looked at some of Ms.GrandPre's work - what a talent. And in her photo she certainly looks friendly! With your interest in art I know you were thrilled to meet her.

      I have just learned of graphic memoirs - yes, that is a thing. I will give one a try. Any suggestions?

    2. I enjoyed both Lucy Knisley's An Age of License, and Roz Chast's Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? I'd love to hear about what you finally decide on and how you like it.

    3. Thanks, Kathy. I will add these to my TBR list.

  3. That would have been a fun demonstration to watch! I've never read a lot of comic books...or graphic novels either. I do try them once in awhile to see if I'm missing out on anything, but I don't think I am; I guess I'm just more of a picture books and novels kind of girl. :)

    1. Lark, although I can usually appreciate the artistic talents of the illustrators, I just can't get too excited about any of the graphic comics or novels. I'm with you...let's just stick with what we enjoy!