In Spartanburg Community College's Tracey Gaines Building, five women gathered around a computer screen, excitedly discussing their favorite characters, shows and books. This wasn't your average club meeting however — these women were here to learn how to make the comics they already enjoy.
One of these women, Alicia Schwalm, is a recent graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, and is the instructor for this summer's The Art of Creating Comics class.
Schwalm says her class is a great stepping stone for hobbyists and people who want to test the waters before diving into art school and the comics industry.
“There aren't very many schools that offer these kind of classes, and the ones that do are art colleges, which are very expensive.”
Schwalm said she got the position, her first job since graduating school, while attending a job fair for SCC.
“The school wanted the class, and they asked me to teach on the spot,” she said.
The primary objective for the class is to give students a very basic look at what they could experience should they attend an art college or try to break into the comics industry.
“The hardest part in starting something new is knowing where to begin,” she said.
For students to complete the course, they will have to design, script and draw a two-page comic.
Claire Poole, a rising senior at Dorman High School, signed up for this summer's course after her father, who teaches at SCC, found a flier for the course.
Poole said her hope for the class is to gain the necessary skills to refine her hobby.
“I've done a little for myself, but I needed some other techniques on how to get it from an idea to paper,” she said.
The class will continue into July. Schwalm said she hopes to be able to continue teaching at SCC, but has also spoken to other area schools about teaching as well.
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