The next generation of comic creators might just be closer than you think. Like the playground.
This February, West Philly’s Locust Moon kicks off a five-week art academy for little ones, taught by local professional cartoonist Pat Aulisio. Aspiring artists from ages 5 to 16 will learn basic art and storytelling techniques and walk away with a foundation to create their own unique comics. Classes begin February 9 and will be held every Sunday afternoon.
We spoke with Joshua O’Neill, co-owner of the comic shop, small press, and art gallery about the upcoming series and why it’s important to introduce art early on.
What’s the inspiration for hosting a comic class for kids?
We like comics, we like kids, and we like the idea of training the next generation of brilliant cartoonists! We’ve already had [successful] adult cartooning classes, taught by the inimitable James Comey, so we figured it was time to continue our brainwashing efforts on more malleable young minds.
But in all seriousness, kids have a kind of creativity and imaginative energy that’s very rare to find in adults, and we’re really excited to help them find ways to tell all the wild stories they’ve dreamed up. Sometimes young kids can make some really great comics, and we want to teach them the tools they can use to do that.
Do you see many younglings among your clientele?
We think it’s sad that most comic stores aren’t kid-friendly, so we’re trying to be the opposite of that. We have a lot of young customers [and] we have a huge selection of children’s books and kids’ toys. No matter how many headlines say that comics aren’t for kids anymore, we think that comics are for everybody.
What can students (and parents) expect from the class?
Students can expect a cursory overview of different aspects of comics ranging from newspaper, Silver Age heroes, and underground techniques, as well as a foundation of storytelling using words and pictures.
The instructor, Pat, is a professional cartoonist whose work has been published internationally. He is also an artist educator and has created multiple curricula based about cartooning and the medium of comic books.
Locust Moon Comic Academy for Kids
Start Date: Sunday, February 9, 4pm
Where: Locust Moon Comics, 34 S. 40th Street, Philadelphia, PA
Duration: Five weeks
Cost: $75 (supplies not included, must bring paper and pencils)
For more information or to sign up, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 267-403-2856.