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Comic making group setup

Question time. Those who have comic creation groups, whether meeting up in a comic shop, or pub or whatever, what do you do in meetings? What resources do you use? Do you have homework?

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Not in one, never heard of one, but I think that’s a great idea! I’ll talk to my local comic book shop guy and see if they would like to host.

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My local is OK with it, and we’ve had some success, but right now trying to get it up running properly (recently people have had to miss due to various reasons, me included), but new year so hopefully more traction that way.

Any joy with your local?

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I’m part of two monthly groups in Adelaide.

Comics With Friends and Strangers takes place in a local community centre on a Monday night (and prior to that in an art gallery run by one of the gang). This is everyone getting together to draw and talk about comics.
People often work on their own comics, but we offer an optional exercise each month just for fun. Examples are:

  • draw 1/3 page and pass it on to make an “exquisite corpse” comic
  • draw a comic using only full face shots
  • draw a comic using perspective grids that I printed up beforehand
  • pick a start and end panel out of a hat and make up the intervening panels
  • one of our members prepared pages of comics with just the characters in them. Draw the backgrounds and fill the speech bubbles.
    We’ll swap comics sometimes, check out each others projects, and alert the group to any good anthology opportunities coming up. We’ve also had one 24 hour comic challenge and plan to do so again.

The other meeting is just called “The Comics Meeting”, on a Saturday afternoon down a pub. Meet other creators, look at sketchbooks and works in progress, swap tips, network and drink, and go through whatever we just picked up from the comic shop.

Both very different, but both really cool. I’ve made a few good friends at both meetings.

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I’ve always tried to make everything very casual and freeform, we all have our own lives and such (I work full time and study part-time, so my own free time is a premium). Saying that though, we’ve got a few people who’ve made their own comics, so that’s always a bonus, having people who have working products is a good example, and they can clarify details about process. Plus my local has regular signings, so it makes sense to encourage that sort of thing.

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I started the conversation, asking if he knew if there were any artists/writers who frequented the shop. The topic quickly changed, but I found that there were at least some artists who frequent the shop. I will need to follow up next Wednesday… different person working there yesterday.