Here’s Looking at You, Kerkel

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

In its 3rd week, my graphic novel class has evolved into something less structured, where we students work on brainstorming one-on-one with the teacher as we try to figure out what our comic is going to be about.

Today, the teacher said something interesting directly to me: “there’s nothing I can teach you about making comics, you already know everything.” By that she meant, I already know most of the rules and language of comics, and the technical intricacies. What I’m really going to get out of the class is feedback about story ideas, and the opportunity to create something outside of my comfort level. She likes Kerkel, but feels the characters lack depth. She also thinks the cartoony style of Kerkel is very “safe,” and that I should consider making a comic using a looser style, such as the one I used in this caricature of Rochester. And she thinks I should draw more people frowning! Hence Mary Rae drowning her sorrows after Kerkel is kidnapped (a storyline I’m considering).

I don’t know that I’m going to use all of her ideas, but I appreciate the basic thrust of her argument: I need to flex my storytelling muscles, and experiment with different styles of art. If I ever do this professionally I may be able to fall back on my Looney Tunes style of art and gags, but now’s a great time to branch out a little, and see if I can create some art that people will connect with.

I’d like to have a solid idea or two by next Thursday, so let me know if you have any suggestions!


  1. Sister

    Make Kerkel “occupy” something

  2. Sister

    Wait, that’s the past… How can you make a cute bear frown?!

  3. Chicky

    I wonder why no one likes to see smiles 🙂 All the ads have models that look so somber too. I like Family Circus ……. it makes me smile!
    That being said ……. how about the electronic trucks in NY that pick up kids cell phones for a $1 a day because they can’t bring them into school! They did get robbed once already and lost 200 cell phones. I don’t know watch the news for the unhappy stuff that isn’t political.