Make ‘Your First Comic’ with Junior Dispatch

The June "Your First Comic" class brought more than a dozen artists to Red Land Community Library.

The June “Your First Comic” class brought more than a dozen artists to Red Land Community Library.

Junior Dispatch’s John Simcoe is visiting York County libraries this summer to help kids create their very own comics.

Make your first comic in classes at one of York County's libraries in July or August.

Make your first comic in classes at one of York County’s libraries in July or August.

The program, which lasts about one-and-a-half hours, focuses on the basics of creating a comic book with the help of a few handouts. The key to the whole program is a “blank” comic book which kids use to create their very own unique illustrated story.

Prior to class, youngsters are encouraged to think of a story they would like to create, as well as coming up with three characters to star in their comic book.

If you’re already an artist, bring along your sketchbook and show it off to the class.

Catch a class at the following York County libraries. Be sure to call the library to register for a spot.

  • Kreutz Creek – Tuesday, July 9, 6 p.m.
  • Dover – Thursday, July 11, 2 p.m.
  • Village – Thursday, July 18, 2 p.m.
  • Collinsville – Monday, July 29, 1 p.m.
  • Kaltreider – Tuesday, July 30, 2 p.m.
  • Martin – Friday, August 2, 3 p.m.

Need a little inspiration for your comic book? Check out all the free online comics available right here on Junior Dispatch!

 

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Meet the hand of fate

The Junior Dispatch loves comics. jd-timeforcomics-230So much so that we’ve been digging through the huge collection of free comics available at The Digital Comic Museum to find some of the best ones that we think kids will enjoy.

Today, we add another great piece into our own archive!

This time we take a look at a comic available in issue No. 1 of “Man in Black” from 1957. The story was written and illustrated by Bob Powell, who is best known for his work on “Sheena, Queen of the Jungle,” “Blackhawk” and the original “Mars Attacks!” trading card series.

You can read more “Man in Black” adventures at the Digital Comics Museum here.

Man in Black (Part One of Six)

Man in Black (Part One of Six)

Read the rest of the story below. Remember, you have to click the image, and then click it again to get it to “reading size.”

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Girl Scout Cadettes learn about comics

Girl Scout Cadettes from Troop 20596 work on their comics at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in West Manchester Township.

Girl Scout Cadettes from Troop 20596 work on their comics at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in West Manchester Township.

Junior Dispatch visited with Girl Scout Cadette troop No. 20596 to teach the girls about how comic books and comic strips are made.

The class included an opportunity for the girls to make their own comic, ask questions about how comics are published and see some original comic pages produced by professionals from Marvel Comics, DC Comics and syndicated newspaper comic strips.

The troop is lead by Chris Logsdon.

One of the Girl Scouts worked on a comic about cupcakes going shopping.

One of the Girl Scouts worked on a comic about cupcakes going shopping.

You can arrange to have Junior Dispatch come out and visit your class, youth group, scouting troop, daycare or other organization too. Junior Dispatch has a number of activities available: The comic book class, story time and coloring activities. All the sessions include a short talk on what its like to work in journalism.

If you’re interested, email John Simcoe at jsimcoe@yorkdispatch.com.

The comic creation class focuses on creating comics of all kinds, not just superhero stories. We like those, of course, but we know some kids don't.

The comic creation class focuses on creating comics of all kinds, not just superhero stories. We like those, of course, but we know some kids don’t.

The girls of Troop 20596 work on their comics using some typical art supplies, including pencils, erasers, colored pencils, plain typing paper and rulers.

The girls of Troop 20596 work on their comics using some typical art supplies, including pencils, erasers, colored pencils, plain typing paper and rulers.

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Pete and Tweet on a Milky Way Mission

The Junior Dispatch loves comics. jd-timeforcomics-230So much so that we’ve been digging through the huge collection of free comics available at The Digital Comic Museum to find some of the best ones that we think kids will enjoy.

Today, we add another great piece into our own archive!

This time we take a look at a comic available in issue No. 12 of “Red Rabbit” from 1949. The series is largely credited to Harvey Eisenberg, an artist who later went on to work on Tom & Jerry comics. In fact, looking at this particular comic, you can see how much Pete the Cat looks like Tom. Likewise, Tweet the Canary plays a role similar to Jerry.

Aside from the complete issue you can read at the Digital Comics Museum, you can also read more about Eisenberg and an actual Red Rabbit adventure here at Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blogzine.

For more of Eisenberg’s work with Hanna-Barbera characters, check out this entry at The Big Blog of Kids’ Comics.

By the way, the ‘Milky Way Mission’ isn’t the official title of the story, we just wanted to give you a hint it was about.

Pete and Tweet Part 1 of 6

Pete and Tweet Part 1 of 6

Read the rest of the story below. Remember, you have to click the image, and then click it again to get it to “reading size.”

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Teen hijinks with ‘Suzie’

The Junior Dispatch loves comics. jd-timeforcomics-230So much so that we’ve been digging through the huge collection of free comics available at The Digital Comic Museum to find some of the best ones that we think kids will enjoy.

Today, we add another great piece into our own archive!

This time Junior Dispatch is featuring a story from “Suzie” no. 99 from 1954 and published by MLJ, a company best known for its Archie Comics series. The story is drawn by Samm Schwartz, who is best known for working on Jughead Jones comics. So who is Suzie? She’s a teenage girl who’s always coming up with crazy adventures, and this time is no different when she decides to take in a boxer and help train him. Her story starts below.

You can read more Suzie stories here at the Digital Comic Museum.

Suzie in "Ring Master" Part 1 of 5

Suzie in “Ring Master” Part 1 of 5

(Remember, you have to click each of the small images and then click them again to bring them up to their “reading size.”)

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A comic starring the smartest kid in the world

The Junior Dispatch  loves comics. So much so that we’ve been digging through the huge collection of free comics available at The Digital Comic Museum to find some of the best ones that we think kids will enjoy.

Today, we add another great piece into our own archive!

Below you can read an episode of “The Brain” a story of a super-intelligent kid who’s pestered by some neighborhood tricksters. It was originally presented in “The Brain” No. 3, a comic published by Magazine Enterprises in 1957. “The Brain” was a nine-issue series, and named after its main character. “The Brain” is only a nickname, as the character’s real name is Benjamin Bang. The story was likely written and drawn by Dan DeCarlo, a man who is well known for his work on Archie Comics.

Read the entire story by clicking on the images below. (Actually, you have to click them, then click again to expand them to full size.)

 

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A cartoon tale from Ireland

The Junior Dispatch  loves comics. So much so that we’ve been digging through the huge collection of free comics available at The Digital Comic Museum to find some of the best ones that we think kids will enjoy.

Today, we add another great piece into our own archive!

Below you can read “The Flute o’ McTootle” a neat little fairy tale from Ireland. It was originally presented in “Fairy Tale Parade” No. 1, a comic published by Dell Publishing Co. in 1942. The story was adapted and illustrated by Walt Kelly, a man who is considered one of the all-time great comic artists. He later went on to create and illustrate the world-famous “Pogo” newspaper comic. You can see several other issues of “Fairy Tale Parade” at The Digital Comic Museum. Most of the issues were illustrated by Kelly … and there are some really good stories in there!

For the rest of the story, click the images below.

 

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The story of Percival

Here at Junior Dispatch, we love comics. So much so that we’ve been digging through the huge collection of free comics available at The Digital Comic Museum to find some of the best ones that we think kids will enjoy.
For our next foray into the the funny pages, we’ll learn about the origin of Percival, a knight of King Arthur’s round table. It was first published in 1947 as part of “Jack-in-the-Box” No. 14 by Charlton Comics. You can see more of the comic book here.

The Story of Percival the Pure (Part 1 of 6)

TO READ MORE, JUST CLICK ON THE IMAGES BELOW, THEN CLICK AGAIN TO ENLARGE THEM!

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Two crazy kids from the comics

Here at Junior Dispatch, we love comics. So much so that we’ve been digging through the huge collection of free comics available at The Digital Comic Museum to find some of the best ones that we think kids will enjoy.
For our first foray into the the funny pages, we’ll learn about the comic duo of Rock & Rollo. This comic was first published in 1957 by Charlton Comics. You can see more of their comic book here.

TO READ MORE, JUST CLICK ON THE IMAGES BELOW!

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Junior Dispatch welcomes ‘Big Nate’

Junior Dispatch is pleased to announce a new addition to our stable of online comics — Big Nate.

The comic is written and drawn by Lincoln Pierce and stars Nate Wright, a sixth grader who is always getting in trouble. Learn more about the strip here.

You can now enjoy Nate’s adventures every day at JuniorDispatch.com’s comic page (and in the print addition of The York Dispatch, too!).

Aside from Big Nate, we have a few other comics for you to enjoy:

  • Belvedere – The crazy comic about a dog who does his own thing. (New comics posted Monday through Saturday on JD’s Comics Page)
  • Tundra – A look at wildlife (and a few snowmen too) that can act a little too human. (New comics posted Monday through Saturday on JD’s Comics page)
  • Phil Hardy – This special 100-episode comic is about an adventure at sea. See it here.
  • Learn to Cartoon – A multi-part course on learning how to cartoon. See it here!
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Are you one of the ‘Zorphbert & Fred’ contest winners?

“Zorpbert & Fred” is a comic by Dawn Griffin and features two aliens who have disguised themselves as dogs to live the easy life on Earth. The webcomic at zfcomics.com, has returned to its regular publication schedule after its summer hiatus.

Well, summer’s over and all you kids are back to school. Just like you, “Zorphbert & Fred”, the webcomic featuring two aliens disguised as Earth dogs, is back and you can read the newest adventures here.

Kids work on their own comics as part of the “Your First Comic” workshop held at the Glatfelter Library in Spring Grove

To celebrate the return of Dawn Griffin’s creation, Junior Dispatch is pleased to announce the results of a giveaway we had over the summer.

To be part of the giveaway, you had to attend one of five “Your First Comic” workshops at York County Libraries this summer.

Junior Dispatch editor John Simcoe visited Paul Smith, Dover, Kaltreider-Benfer, Collinsville and Glatfelter libaries in his whirlwind of the county as dozens of kids got an opportunity to flex their creative muscles. The young writer-artists made comics about superheroes, living fruit, animals, space explorers along with dozens of other ideas.

Each participant had their name thrown into the Junior Dispatch hat and now we have the winners:

  • Winning the top prize is Delaney, who attended the Dover class. Delaney wins two “Zorphbert & Fred” books, “Prepare to by Analyzed” and “Marriage Runs on Coffee.” Together the two books are a whopping 292 pages.
  • Winning the final giveaway copy of the “Zorphbert & Fred Con Exclusive Mini Book” is Ora, who attended the Paul Smith class.

Junior Dispatch will contact the two winners in the coming days.

Finally, Junior Dispatch would like to offer our thanks to Dawn Griffin for supplying the prizes for our giveaway. You can read more about Dawn in our interview of her here.

Teachers: Interested in having John Simcoe come out to your class for a “Your First Comic” session? Contact him at jsimcoe@yorkdispatch.com. The class takes 1.5 hours and attendees will learn to create their own comic book. The session consists of a mix of writing, craft-making and drawing.

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Creating comics with Dawn Griffin

Meet the cast of Dawn Griffin's "Zorphbert & Fred" comic.

Junior Dispatch had an opportunity to chat with Dawn Griffin, artist for the “Zorphbert & Fred” comic about her work. You can actually win some of her comics and books by attending a “Your First Comic” session. Find out more about that here.

Griffin, 33, majored in Graphic Design/Illustration at Tyler School of Art (of Temple University) in Elkins Park, Pa. She lives in Havertown, Pa., with her husband and has a Lab/Rottweiler mix. Some favorite things: ice cream, Cleveland sports, “Thundercats” (new and old TV series), Pixar movies, video games, “Big Bang Theory,” and she says “my favorite season is autumn!”

Read some of her comics at ZFComics.com. (The comic is currently on a break, but you can enjoy the old ones.)

How did your interest in art and comics begin?
I’ve always been drawing, making up stories and telling jokes, since as far back as I can remember. It took me a while to find the perfect outlet for all these creative endeavors— the combination of the 3 is called “sequential art”, also known as comics! Around 12 or so I was drawing and writing comics with consistent characters and at 14, I submitted to syndicates for the first time.

How did you get your first piece of art published?
Technically speaking, my first piece of art that was published was in my middle school student-made newsletter. I followed suit in high school and college, sending in comics to the school newspaper. All I really had to do was ask! However, my first professionally (meaning, I was paid for it) published piece was an illustration for a magazine. I was just about to graduate from college, and working a graphic design internship. My supervisor knew of my illustration talent, and put me in contact with a friend of hers who worked for a magazine called Philadelphia Style. Next thing I knew, I was drawing a caricature of four top chefs in Philadelphia, and got paid for it!


You told Junior Dispatch that you tried for a long time to get a comic syndicated. What does that mean and what happened to your comic?
The comics that are published in the newspaper on the “funnies” page are syndicated comics, for the most part. Much like an actor may get an agent to help him or her find acting jobs, a syndicate will help get a cartoonist’s comic into different newspapers, across the country, or even across the world — for a share of the profit, usually 50/50! The tricky part is that not just anyone can be syndicated. The big syndicates will receive 10,000 or more submissions a year and only select 1 cartoonist to be offered a contract. Also, sometimes pure talent won’t earn you that spot; a lot of the reasoning behind whom they chose has to do with a right-time-right-place luck of the draw. It’s a really hard field to get into, and be successful. That said, I submitted my first comic, called “Leftovers,” to syndicates for almost 10 years. After getting 10 years worth of rejection letters, I decided maybe “Leftovers” just wasn’t the right comic for the “funny pages”… And decided to retire it around 2004.

But you didn’t give up drawing comics! Now you’ve got Zorphbert and Fred. What can you tell us about these two aliens?
Nope, I will never give up drawing comics, I love it too much! Zorphbert and Fred were “born” maybe a year after retiring “Leftovers”, and it truly was like meeting new friends. In the beginning, I had an idea of their personalities, but it took 100s of comics to fully grown to know them- they seems to take on qualities all on their own. Zorphbert is the Lead Research Cadet, and is in charge of collecting the research data and reporting back to the manager. Fred is his partner Research Cadet, helping Zorphbert understand this crazy planet we call Earth. They are very much polar opposites in terms of personality- Zorphbert is smart, grumpy, and high-strung. Fred is a roll-with-the-punches type guy, who wishes he could have been disguised as a cat instead of a dog — he really likes kitty cats! It’s a classic combination, you have probably seen the same dynamic before, in characters like Garfield & Odie, or Bucky & Satchel, or Ren & Stimpy, or Laurel and Hardy!

How many Z&F comics have you created so far? Will you be doing them for a long time?
“Zorphbert & Fred” are approaching 600 comics, enough for 3 whole books of 200 comics each! The comic itself is about 5 years old now, and since I am my own boss, my rule of thumb is to keep drawing Z&F until I don’t feel passion for the story or the characters anymore. I would love to say I’ll be drawing Z&F comics forever, but part of the glory of being an independent creator is that if I am inspired to work on a new comic, I am don’t contractually obligated to keep drawing a comic I feel I have grown beyond. However, I don’t see myself giving up this comic easily at all!

Is it hard to make so many comics? Do you ever get tired of drawing them?
The issue isn’t so much that I tire of drawing comics, it’s that my regular day job and other projects may tire me out and some days I really just need a break. In fact, recently, I have decided to run Z&F on a “Seasonal Schedule”, meaning I’ll post consistently for 4 months straight, and then take a 2 month “hiatus”, or break. This helps me recharge, rest up and be ready for the next season… And helps me create BETTER comics! Hey, if TV shows can do it, so can I!

What tools do you use to make your comics?
Long ago I would use a pencil for sketching, and then a fountain pen & black India ink to draw the lines. Then, I would scan the comic, and make some more adjustments on the computer. However, now I own a “Tablet PC Laptop”, which looks like a regular laptop, but you can flip the screen around and fold it down, like a tablet.  I sketch, ink, color, and add the words all on the computer now! The screen is pressure-sensitive, meaning the harder you press down, the thicker the line.. So it’s a lot like drawing with a fountain pen! It’s nice not to have to scan in the original, and there’s no more ink spills!

Wow, that laptop sounds expensive… and hard to use! What kind of materials do you think a kid needs to make comics?
As much as kids are into technology today, I would suggest starting with the classic tools and really trying new and different things to see what you like! It doesn’t matter WHAT you use when you’re first starting out, just that you DRAW all the time! Practice, practice, practice! Try new tools; markers, pencils, pens, erasers, colored pencils, pastels, watercolor… See what you like! It’s just like when I went to Art School for college— we tried every medium, and learned how to do it RIGHT, at first. Then, slowly, we discovered what we really excelled at, and perfected that medium, that style. If you want to make comics, use that time to be away from the computer and just draw and try new things. It’s a lot of fun, and relaxing. Worry about buying expensive equipment later!

Do you have any advice for young artists and writers?
Just keep at it. Don’t let a few negative words bring you down. Even the best artists will hear negative feedback from critics — it’s all apart of the business. All creative mediums are “subjective” — meaning some will like it and some will not — and THAT is the beauty of it! If it was simply “right” or “wrong”, it would be MATH, not ART! Draw because you WANT to draw, not because you want to impress anyone, or earn money, or be the best. The most wonderful artwork, stories, music, poems, or comics comes from people who REALLY love what they do! Just keep at it, and you’ll see yourself improving over the years. You’ll look back at old artwork and be amazed at how far you have come!

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Attend a comic class and you can win a prize

This summer, John Simcoe, the Junior Dispatch’s editor, is visiting libraries around York County to offer classes on “Your First Comic.” As an incentive to get kids interested in the class, Junior Dispatch is also offering door prizes at each of the classes and after the final class, all the participants will be entered to win even more.

The prizes are all supplied by Dawn Griffin, a Pennsylvania comic artist who currently publishes “Zorphbert & Fred,” a comic about two aliens disguised as dogs and looking for a home hear on Earth.

The grand prize winner will receive “Zorphbert & Fred Vol. 1: Prepare to be Analyzed” and “Zorphbert & Fred Vol. 2: Marriage Runs on Coffee.” Each book is more than 140 pages long, features hundreds of comics and have a hand-drawn sketch inside by Griffin.

You can attend the workshop at these libraries:

  •   1:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at Dover Area Community Library, Dover; grades 5-8; 292-6814.
  •  2 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, at Kaltreider-Benfer Library, Red Lion; ages 10+; 244-2032.
  •  1:30 p.m. Monday, July 30, at Collinsville Community Library, Brogue; ages 10+; 927-9014.
  •  1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7, at Glatfelter Memorial Library, Spring Grove; ages 10+; 225-3220.

During the comics workshop, attendees will learn to create and assemble a comic book or comic strip. The session consists of a mix of writing, craft-making and drawing.

“Art skills aren’t necessary, but they will help!” said Simcoe. “Once you’re done, you can submit your comic to JuniorDispatch.com for online publication.”

But who is Dawn Griffin? What is this “Zorphbert & Fred” comic all about? Check Junior Dispatch on July 5 for more about her and her recommendations to young artists.

 

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York Dispatch editors to present summer programs

WJTL’s Lisa Landis talks with John Simcoe, York Dispatch editor, on the air at the June 2 York County Libraries & GO York kick-off event at the Sovereign Bank Stadium. John was talking about the upcoming York Dispatch workshops and the Junior Dispatch writing contest.

York Dispatch editors John Simcoe and Randy Flaum are visiting several York County libraries this summer to share writing, drawing and photography skills with youth participating in the Dream Big Read! GO and Search the Galaxy program.

Randy Flaum, York Dispatch visual editor, pictured with one of his cameras.

Flaum, the newspaper’s visual editor, will be teaching teens and tweens how to use their cell phone to take pictures during Your Cell Phone Photo Workshop.

According to Flaum, “The best camera to use is the one you always have with you. And that is your cell phone.”

He will conduct both one- and three-day workshops during which he will cover photography tips such as shooting indoors and out, the best ways to capture pictures of your friends, camera angles, and lighting. Most of the workshops are geared to ages 10 and older, although some of the programs are for ages 13 and older.

Simcoe is instructing two workshops, Write What You Like and Your First Comic, for youth ages 10 and older. He serves as a news editor and the editor of juniordispatch.com.

According to Simcoe, “The best way to get your writing published is to write what you like and what you know.”

He will talk about how he’s been published (and paid!) for his writing, and share how to target writing based on the things you love — from informational articles to event reports to poems and fiction.

During the comics workshop, attendees will learn to create and assemble a comic book or comic strip. The session consists of a mix of writing, craft-making and drawing.

“Art skills aren’t necessary, but they will help!” said Simcoe. “Once you’re done, you can submit your comic to JuniorDispatch.com for online publication.”

If you go: All of the workshops are free. Call to register for the location of your choice. Most of the programs are geared to ages 10 and older, but there are some age variances. For hours and directions, go to www.yorklibraries.org.

Cell phone photos, one-day workshops:

– 12:30-2 p.m. Saturday, June 23, at Kaltreider-Benfer Library, Red Lion; ages 10+; 244-2032.

– 10:30 a.m.– noon Saturday, June 30, at Mason-Dixon Public Library, Stewartstown; ages 10+; 993-2404.

– 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, July 7, at Guthrie Memorial Library, Hanover; for teens; 632-5183.

– 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at Martin Library, York; ages 13-18; 846-5300.

Cell phone photos, three-day workshops:

– 6:30-8 p.m. Thursdays, June 28, July 19 and Aug. 2, at Red Land Community Library, Etters; ages 13-adult; 938-5599.

– 6:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, July 11, 18 and 25, at Dover Area Community Library, Dover; preteens-teens; 292-6814.

Comics workshop:

– 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 28, at Paul Smith Library, Shrewsbury; ages 10+; 235-5806.

– 1:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at Dover Area Community Library, Dover; grades 5-8; 292-6814.

– 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, at Kaltreider-Benfer Library, Red Lion; ages 10+; 244-2032.

– 1:30 p.m. Monday, July 30, at Collinsville Community Library, Brogue; ages 10+; 927-9014.

– 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7, at Glatfelter Memorial Library, Spring Grove; ages 10+; 225-3220.

Writing workshop:

– 6 p.m.Wednesday, Aug. 1, at Glatfelter Memorial Library, Spring Grove; ages 13+; 225-3220.

– 1:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6, at Dover Area Community Library, Dover; teens; 292-6814.

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