Sunday was officially Family Day at New York Comic-Con this year (as it is every year), also known in our house as “Take Your Kid To Work Day.” My 12-year old wanted to shop and go to the VR and video game stations. My little one, however, looked forward to dressing up and doing fun things at the workshops. We chose StorySmash for her, and then she insisted on the cartooning workshop (facilitated by the artists and writers of Creative One Comics), ignoring the pull of Legos and her favorite cousin.
Check out StorySmash and Creative One Comics below.
StorySmash was an interactive storytelling activity, where chosen volunteers were the “directors” of our experienced audiobook narrators, January Lavoy, who read the Grimm version of Cinderella, and Marc Thompson, who read an excerpt of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back So You Want to be a Jedi?, told from the perspective of Luke Skywalker.
During Cinderella, the 5 children were given storyboards with one direction on it: Slow Down, Whisper, High-Five, Speed Up, and Sing. They had to lift their board when they wanted to and the narrator had to obey the direction. So the audience did not feel left out, we were supposed to listen for times Lavoy stuck silly words in, and yell “Cut!” so she would correct it. I had forgotten how brutal the Grimm story was, but the kids still liked it, and my daughter gave her “Speed Up” direction quite well.
Marc Thompson’s directors had the same directions, but during his reading, his assistant also held up different storyboards for sounds, like R2-D2 chirps, whoosh!, lightsaber sound, and humming the Star Wars theme song. What was amazing is that he did spot on voices of Luke, Darth Vader, and Yoda. Tons of fun.
Next on the list was the “Creative One Comics, Creation Station: Cartooning Drawing Workshop.” Artists/Writers/Brothers Ed and Darryl Mouzon inspired and modeled for the crowded room (so crowded that parents had to happily give up their seats to the kids), how to create chibi characters (big head, little body). He then had them take their characters and make panels of superhero action. My 5-year old was so into it. Not only did she create her character, she took “Fire Girl” through 14 pages of an adventure, and was so proud of herself. Like the brothers, I am a teacher, and have never seen a full-to-bursting room of children sit and draw entranced for an hour.
Our focus is to introduce young artists to cartooning through their own original drawings. We will teach basic anatomy and cartoon layouts. We will work with young artists to create cool super heroes to match their wonderful powers. The kids will make up costume designs and learn how to draw them. At the completion of the class, the kids will have a basic character they can place into a fun story, and have loads of fun with.
Creative One Comics