I recently spoke with a grade 4 class in Calgary. Over Skype. My how times have changed since I was in grade 4! The students asked me questions about cartooning and also shared with me their artistic aspirations. I was then asked if I would mind to create a comic which I replied that it would be my pleasure. In fact, I was given four possible plot scenarios:
1. Spud, a Rock, Penguin. In a ghost town. Why is it a ghost town.
2. Spud, Alien, Zebra. Rocket ship in space. Ship breaks down.
3. Spud, black cat and big dog. Time machine takes them back to pre-European entry on the prairies to land with the plains people. The machine breaks.
4. Spud, Giant octopus, King of Atlantis. Ocean. Can’t find Atlantis.
A few years ago, I used the power of social media to draw and post a number of improv comics (and plan to resurrect that project soon) so this was a fun exercise to get my creative juices flowing. I have to admit, the students stumped me! So I decided to combine all four suggestions into one story. I used a few elements that elementary school kids enjoy: repetition, magic, and weird sudden plot turns. Or at least I enjoyed those when I was in grade 4 ;)
In the spirit of education, I left whatever of my pencil marks (and scan shadows) in the drawings above. It’s my little way to show the students how I build the comics.