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The Importance of Comics

As we look forward to the next time we run the Frontier Comics Seminar (FCS), one may ask the question, “What are comics?” and to that I would explain that comics are image-based sequential storytelling. This may then raise the question, “But, why comics?” and the answer to this question is a simple one: that comics have power.

What do I mean by that? Well, if you look at recent years, what are the popular movies coming out? What are the popular TV series coming out? Marvel is changing the way people view cinematic experiences through their films. Demon Slayer, a Japanese animated film, just became the highest grossing film in Japan and the highest grossing anime film worldwide and Netflix just released a series called Sweet Tooth that has been receiving many positive reviews. What do all these have to do with comics, though? Well, all these series, whether created in America, Japan, or elsewhere, started out as comics.

Comics Have Power

I think it can easily be summarized in the following quote from Edward Said, a professor of literature at Columbia University: “I don't remember when exactly I read my first comic book, but I do remember exactly how liberated and subversive I felt as a result.”

With the Frontier Comics Seminar, we aim to create comics that can be easily understood and accepted by a specific people group. Yet, even more than that, I desire to see people coming through the school to realize the power and potential comics have to not only influence those who read them, but the potential that they may have to influence entire cultures.

I can’t help but marvel at the idea of people coming through this training and gaining a passion for comics. A passion that causes them to not only share about our Heavenly Father to their own people and neighbors in plain and simple ways, but also to create visual stories that are more secular in nature that still uplift and glorify our Savior and King, just as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien did with their literature.

“…not everyone has to be an amazing artist or writer to create compelling comics.”

The one feedback I get most frequently is, “Well, I am not a good artist/writer,” and the beauty of that is, not everyone has to be an amazing artist or writer to create compelling comics. However, if you do want that idea of not being a good artist/writer to change, I will give you three suggestions:

  1. Start creating, and create every day.

  2. Make mistakes. It’s ok if you aren’t perfect, you’ll get better over time.

  3. Seek out instruction. It can be in the form of YouTube videos, online image-based tutorials, or even the FCS!

With all this being said, if you or someone you know would enjoying taking more time to focus in on learning how to create comics, I would love to talk to you about our school that we will be running in Osaka, Japan, in the summer of 2022.

Contact: frontiercomicseminarjapan@gmail.com

- Ian L.

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