Tyler Landry shares thoughts on running a weekly comics club in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada – a Comics Workbook “satellite school”!
I’ve been running the Charlottetown Comics Club (CCC) weekly, since the spring of 2016. At first in my home with a few trusted friends, then we moved to a public place – the back room of a local comic shop, Lightning Bolt Comics, where anyone and everyone is welcome to join.
I sought to model this club on a few basic ideals. First, the continued development and expansion (for myself, and members) of the foundation of comics-making skills I learned through Frank Santoro’s Correspondence Course, and, by extension, the inundation of ideas, influences, and examples flowing through Comics Workbook. Second, to gather locally operating cartoonists (of all levels and persuasions), who often toil in silence/obscurity at home, in a place where we can feel comfortable working and growing alongside each other, for mutual benefit and general good feels.
Some members come and go, some are very consistent. This can make group activities challenging, especially where things carry over from one week to the next, but I’ve managed to run a handful of pretty successful exercises so far. We do some smaller warmups and drills, as well as some larger/longer projects with full-on story card development. There are also members who bring their own bread-and-butter comics work, or projects they’re already knee-deep in, and just draw away among their peers.
I encourage everyone to bring in their own work, new and old, and also to share comics they like (or don’t like) with the group. Discussing these things can only make us smarter and ultimately more demanding of the quality and caliber of the content we seek to read and create in comics. This is so important.
At its core, this club upholds the methods and values that I’ve been taught, and seeks to grow and share them with the wider community here. I strongly believe that this kind of “part-of-the-total-package”, modular thinking is key to creating, editing, and clearly executing good comics. I pull from any and all sources I can find value in, and there are endless examples, but Comics Workbook is solid. There’s tangible proof in the CW pudding. This way of thinking, and the use of these methods has enabled me to focus my ideas and raw skills into actual complete comics – something that used to be very hit/miss for me. I wouldn’t be doing the work I’m doing now if this door hadn’t been opened.
I’m passionate to a fault about comics being THE medium for storytelling, beautiful artwork, and expression of ideas. I don’t know nearly as much as I should about the history of comics, or its major/middle/minor players, but I’m seeking that knowledge, always.
I want to participate in the realization of the expanding potential of this medium, and this club is another way in which I, and its other members, can do just that.
Tyler will continue to share work by members of the club, bios of these Prince Edward Island cartoonists, and details about the projects the CCC complete. If you are interested in joining the club please email santoroschoolATgmail and we will put you in touch with Tyler.
Tyler Landry is a graduate of the Santoro Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers. His recent comics includes Vile 1: Cowards Hole, Vile 2: Lonesome, and Hermit Crab Real Estate. Get copies of his work HERE. Check out work in progress and other cool stuff by Tyler HERE. Keep up with the Charlottetown Comics Club via Tyler’s Instagram – @clavcity.