Comics Help Kids Tell Stories

Published on July 23, 2015

A Comic Book for Super Stories

The Brunswick News

The local library is focusing on the fact that “Every Hero Has a Story,” and that’s exactly what Ingram and Jim Jinkins are teaching children in this summer’s Amazing Authors Club.

Ingram Jinkins, middle, teaches Skyler Stone, left, and Cheyenne Brundage, right, how to tell their stories through comics in the Amazing Authors Club at the Brunswick-Glynn County Library.
Ingram Jinkins, middle, teaches Skyler Stone, left, and Cheyenne Brundage, right, how to tell their stories through comics in the Amazing Authors Club at the Brunswick-Glynn County Library.on the fact that “Every Hero Has a Story,” and that’s exactly what Ingram and Jim Jinkins are teaching children in this summer’s Amazing Authors Club.

The Jinkins are instructing students on how to bring stories to life in the form of comic strips.

Dragons, fat cats, dinosaurs and even eyeballs are getting a chance to come to life in a comic book form.

“The diversity of every direction of this group is blowing our minds,” said Jim Jinkins, creator of the popular children’s television show “Doug,” and a Brunswick resident.

At the conclusion of the camp, the comics created will be added to a book the youth will receive as a keepsake from the camp. Two copies of the book will be at the public library after Aug. 8 for anyone to read and enjoy.

“At the end of this week we are putting together a book that’s a collective work of both this week and the previous week’s work. It’s going to be an anthology that each of them gets to keep with all of their comics in it,” he said.

The program is funded with a grant from Tom Tufts, a middle school language arts teacher, said Karen Larrick, program coordinator for the Brunswick-Glynn County Library.

“Language arts in all of its forms are important to him, so we want to find things to do that enhances kids’ understanding of language arts, but comic book or graphic novel themes just fit the super hero theme very well,” Larrick said.

Joy Ammi Patel continues the penciling process in her comic about eye surgery. Patel is participating in the Amazing Authors Club with Ingram and Jim Jinkins.
Joy Ammi Patel continues the penciling process in her comic about eye surgery. Patel is participating in the Amazing Authors Club with Ingram and Jim Jinkins.

Jim’s child, Ingram, was tasked with coming up with the curriculum for the week.

“They had a vague idea of what they wanted, so I basically had to come up with the entire program — what we’d be doing, the pacing of it, how many kids would be in the program per week,” said Ingram Jinkins, a sequential art major at Savannah College of Art and Design. “So I just came up with a rough idea of what I wanted and I told her, yeah I’d love to do that.”

Campers have been taught a breakdown of what is needed to tell a complete story in very limited space.

“You have one page to tell your story, how are you going to do it?” Ingram Jinkins said. “We start with storytelling and character design, and figuring out thumbnails which is basically the map for what you’re gonna do on your comics.”

Each day serves a different purpose as a building block for learning to tell stories as a comic book illustrator. On Monday the foundation was laid out for stories and focused on the beginning, middle and end of students’ stories. Tuesday and Wednesday focused on drawing each tale in pencil.

The Jinkins’ helped the kids get comfortable with the tools they were using to ensure full stories.

“I taught them how to use some tools to help them with their lettering,” Ingram Jinkins said.

The next step is “inking” which just so happens to be Ingram’s favorite part of the process.

“After you do your pencils, inking is a specific process that makes it look a lot tighter and a lot more finished,” Ingram Jinkins said.

Ingram will make copies of the inked works so the campers can work on coloring them in and finishing up on Friday. In the end, Ingram wants the children in the workshop to be able to move on and draw their own comics.

“I’m teaching them the professional method. If you want to do comics then you do this method for comics,” Ingram Jinkins said.

Jim Jinkins has mutual sentiments.

Skyler Stone, left, creates a comic about a dinosaur who thinks he can survive anything and quickly finds out that he can’t. Stone was part of the comic class in this year’s Amazing Authors Club at the library.
Skyler Stone, left, creates a comic about a dinosaur who thinks he can survive anything and quickly finds out that he can’t. Stone was part of the comic class in this year’s Amazing Authors Club at the library.

“We’re trying to push these kids just a little bit further than what they came in with,” Jim Jinkins said.

Ingram wants them to gain an appreciation for the skills they gained.

“I get really frustrated when people think that comics are just for kids or just a thing you grow out of,” Ingram said. “It’s for all age groups. Anybody can enjoy it and it’s such a mature art form.”

The camp is not an art class, Jim Jinkins said.

“It’s really for storytellers, and it’s visual storytelling,” he said.

Every hero, and every child has a story to tell. Classes like these make it possible to tell those stories.