In addition Ben Girven a father, artist and member of 7000 BC dubs the community a “support group” and that each member brings something to the group. The group is very passionate about the endeavors and the development of their personal styles. One of the members, Jeff Benham said that 7000 BC gained its inception on a 24-hour comic day with four or five friends in Santa Fe, New Mexico about 8 years ago. With the goal to provide opportunities for comic writers and artists, the group has grown quite a bit since then. While today’s workshop was geared toward adults the group is open for anyone to join.
Jeff Benham mainly manned the projector but he stopped and asked the room an important question, the first question for the day. Benham asked, “What is a comic?” Everyone had an idea but Benham broke it down and Girven stated, “A comic is a story told through images, text and words in a sequence.” Some members are artists and some are writers; one of the writers is Chuck Larntz. Recently having a published comic titled “My Name is Andre”. Larntz stated the difference between traditional writing and comics is the, “Exposition and description has to be put in a frame and still have words.” Essentially the actions, images and words have to be contained and limited into a panel on the strip.
Additionally the writer handles the script and outlines the actions and descriptions for the artist. The writer will often give notes to the artist to describe the character(s), event(s) and scene(s). Ultimately the artist will put his or her touches on the strip. Larntz said about writing, “It is the writer’s point of view and sometimes the artist makes it better.” He was speaking about the artist who worked with him on his comic “My Name is Andre” in regards to a few changes made by the artist.
Jeff Benham went on to describe how a character, event and scene function for a story. These are what he calls the “big three” things you need for story development. The character can be imaginative down to the style it is drawn to create a sense, era or perspective. While their needs to be an event, Benham demonstrates that the event can be done the same way just with different approaches, Krazy Kat for example.After the slide show stopped, Benham handed out pencils and paper to the room. Benham then tasked the room to write a character, event and scene. Afterwards each individual’s paper was handed out to a new individual in the room. Benham then tasked them to write a story and illustrate it through panels based on the character, event and scene they where handed. During this process Girven and Larntz started their own panel with character, event, scene and descriptions on a tablet and easel. This gave the room something to help them understand the process.
Wrapping up the workshop was Ben Girven with his comic driven art styles displayed on the projector. The slideshow demonstrates the pre pro and thumbnails through the beginning stages. As Girven goes on to breakdown the process, images of space ships, a female character and a story emerges from the comic panels. The images become cleaner with the inking. The shading becomes affected by the light sources illuminating the character and scene.The presentation ended and the room gathered around Benham, Girven and Larntz asking the three speakers questions and checking out their works. Most of them signing up for the email list and shuffling up to read through the materials before they exited.