I still remember the thrill of receiving our first printed comic book. Sure it was a little rough around the edges, but there was something exciting about holding the anthology in our hands. It made the dream real.
Only a year before, a group of creators had met together at the local comic shop share ideas and learn the art of comics as part of a “Comic Creator Club.” It was a mix of long-term comic fans and relative novices, including individuals who had never even been at a comic shop. The group had a desire to create, but little actual comic making experience. So we learned together.
Writers and artists were paired on simple creative exercises. An early favorite was “Cap Draw”, where suggested characters, settings, and conflicts were dumped into a hat and drawn at random to produce a one-page comic. The results were often silly like Sonic the Hedgehog fighting zombies within Death Star II, but they helped immensely as we learned to tell stories with sequential art. Together we grew from one-page exercises to four-page shorts and then started working toward our own projects. As our first anniversary approached we collected the year’s worth of comics into Stache Shorts #1, our first printed book.
Now going into our fourth year together, our passion is still helping others make comics. That’s why Stache came into existence. It’s in our creative DNA. So, we were happy when Ryan Burst approached us to help produce a printed collection for the return of the /r/comicbookcollabs two-page comic contest. The moderators of the subreddit share our goal of helping others fulfill their creative dreams and that’s something we want to be part of.
Comic making is truly an international passion and while some creators have the benefit of a local community, others are not as fortunate. That is why creative initiatives like /r/comicbookcollabs are important. The subreddit brings together an online community and provides new creators the opportunity to grow together on monthly exercises. It’s exciting to see those participants forging partnerships and working on books together.