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Tag: MCAD

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Lynch Sketching

My buddy, artist Sean Lynch dropped by my Intro to Comics class for a Q & A and workshop. We had a great time talking Story, Comics and Storytelling. While he worked with students I had a quick chance to sketch up this profile portrait.

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Professor Paul and Mad Chan

Constructive Criticism in the Classroom:

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Sketching in Class

The Lecture That Would Not End:

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Comics Man!

It's been two months since the last Intro to Comics class at MCAD, and I miss it. During that last session, some students gave me a sheet of drawings they'd done. Chan Chau kicked it off with the many moods of Mad Paul...

Most of these are more accurate than I'd like to admit.

Caroline saw me as a manga superhero:

Chan again, depicting me as a barrel-chested knight, as deluded as Don Quixote!

Brando's take:

HA! I may technically be a Baby Boomer, but I'm not quite that old. But once in a blue moon this Simon & Garfunkel fan is Feelin' Groovy.

Chan says I get this manga-like twinkle in my eye when I talk comics. I've heard this many times before, and it's even been caught on video (gotta share that someday).

Best I can figure Sugoi is a clothing outfit. What, do they sell Hawaiian shirts?!

And you can take the boy out of Chicago, but not Chicago out of the boy. Young Wisconsin cartoonist Jei sez I pronounce 'comics' thus:

Anyways, always and ever a Mid-Westerner.

Thanks, y'all! More Mad Paul comics coming soon...?

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MCAD: Mad Paul

We'd gotten through to the mid-term of our Intro to Comics class at MCAD and my students knew where they stood. They had their grades-to-date and knew where I thought could improve, what they could work on certain areas and weaknesses for the latter half. Spring Break was a week or two later, and I figured they return for the last push refreshed, but they were exhausted! Within a week or two everyone was on track, with renewed energy for their Final Comic.

One young lady, Chan once again decided to challenge herself by doing a 20-page comic (only 4-6 pages were required). My reaction?


Somewhat skeptical, a little scared for her, a little scared of her (she'd no doubt pull it off, with panache). But she was taking a risk she'd crash and burn.

This exchange apparently kicked off a weekly cartoon she called Mad Paul Mondays, tracking the last few weeks of the semester...







Well, Chan kicked that comic's ass. Behold: Moviegoer!


I still can't believe she was unfamiliar with the work of Jaime Hernandez. Great job, Chan! Everyone did a nice job on their finals, actually.

And now, as of yesterday, it appears Mad Paul may be a series:


What, was she peeking in the window at our house last night?! Mad Paul may be a joke to Chan and her fellow students, but unfortunately for my wife and daughters he all-too-often makes an appearance here at home!

Anyway, they must miss me. I miss them, and it's only been a few weeks since the last class! Not Mad Paul - Sad Paul.  = (

There are more cartoons of me, but I gotta get this scanner up and working or replace it ASAP - then I'll post the rest.

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MCAD: Intro to Comics Class

On our last day of class, we took a few group pictures, so here's the crew from my first foray with higher-level instruction: our MCAD Introduction to Comics class, Spring, 2012:

Back row, left to right: Amber, Caroline, Professor Paul, Brandon, Aaron, Leigh. Middle row: Olivia, Rachel, Thomas, Tanner. Front row: Jei, Chan, Alice & Nicole.

I had a great group of students with a palpable passion for their art and/or comics. They impressed me, coming into the class with more drawing and storytelling chops than I'd expected. I just read all their course evaluations, and while I'm pleased they all liked the class, their constructive comments will help me focus more on where I can improve if I get the chance to teach again. I hope they learned a lot, but here's...

What I learned:

• If you ask me talk about Comics for hours straight, I can do it. In fact, it's tough to shut me up.

• My Corpus Callosum Dominant condition is a perfect fit for teaching an art class. Relying strongly on both sides of the brain is a big help to handle the aesthetic nature of art class as well as the organizational and structural necessary to keep me and the students on track.

• Regardless of one's age, we can all pursue our passion or bliss, make dreams come alive through action, and have personal challenges, situations and stresses to overcome.

• While grounding ourselves in traditional, tried-and-true methods of art-making, we must also embrace and encourage the use of digital tools and technology. As long as principles of drawing, storytelling, composition, design and clarity are followed and adhered to, it doesn't matter what tools we use.

• Comics makers are a weird, idiosyncratic, smart and sharp, wonderful group of people.

• The future of Comics is in good hands. You'll be buying and reading comics, watching cartoons made by these young people shortly.


Just for grins, our Justice League pose - heroes all!

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Art Students at Work

The latest class was a workshop day - no lectures, demos, guest speakers or in-depth critiques. That leaves less for the teacher to do. Luckily, I had my trusty Pentel Pocket Brush and some marker paper, so was able to sketch some artists at work.

Sure, a good amount of what artists do is drawing, but so much - especially in early stages of the creative process - is the hard brain work of writing and/or planning. Considered and refined are characters, design, composition, layout. Stories are tossed, creative lovelies are snuffed out, the work takes shape as decisions are made, new paths discovered and forged.

Every artist is not only in the process of honing their skills and craft, settling in on their style, but are in the act of creating themselves. Call it exploration, expression, self-actualization. These presentations and personae are experimented with, some discarded for a new look, sometimes they fit like a glove and stick...at least for a time.

Each artist gets comfy with how they like to work: tools, environment, trappings, habits and posture. Most have a tendency to get their noses right down there into the work. I know I do.

Students nowadays come equipped with their own laptop and headphones. They're plugged in to keep inspired and entertained, to research conceptually and visually. Alongside the traditional tools of brush & ink, pencils and a sketchbook is a tangle of cords, and a slick screen.

A relaxed posture can belie a confused creative mind. Those somewhat scruffy-lookin' can have the most ordered thoughts and/or work spaces. Some that appear more together can be most disorganized or work away amidst chaos. I've been all of these and more.

Drawing/writing/creating is part what we see, part what we know. We observe the people and world around us, filter it through our selves, our personality and sensibilities to capture truth, perhaps create new worlds. We explore, test an idea there, make a mark here, feeling things out tentatively, striking out boldly in an effort to convey and connect.