Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

April 3, 2009

Graphic learning at Goshen College

The visual end of the literary spectrum took the limelight at Better World Books Friday evening.

There, students from Goshen College’s “Literature and Popular Culture: The Graphic Novel” May term 2008 class presented Goshen Adventure Comics, their own entry into the genre for perusal and sale. The 73-page volume includes visual, autobiographical stories from seven students.

Students Jacob Schlabach and Emily Taylor, after winning a friendly competition to create a mascot for the book with their character “Cloud,” were invited by Associate Professor of English and instructor for the course Jessica Baldanzi to be more involved.

“She asked us if we wanted to make an introduction for the book, and from there it just sort of evolved into a lot of editing,” Schlabach said.

The duo worked together to collect and compile each student’s final composition project, put the book together and deal with getting it approved by the Pinchpenny Press board. The board publishes books written by GC students, faculty and friends about five times each year.

Taylor was surprised by how much it took to go from collecting the stories to publishing.

“Honestly, editing and collecting a book for publication is a lot more difficult than it looks,” she said. “There’s a lot of communication involved.”

Dan Vader’s “My Summer Job” was one of the stories accepted by the Pinchpenny board. It tells of his job working at a small manufacturing company and the shenanigans that ensued. He enjoyed the class.

“It was really fun, I learned a lot about graphic novels as a literary art form,” Vader said. “I was kind of a casual fan, I hadn’t read a lot of comics before, but this class interested me in a lot of stuff.”

In particular, he enjoys drama and political commentary comic books like “Persepolis,” written by Iranian Marjane Satrapi about her childhood and adolescence before and after the 1979 revolution. “Persepolis” was one of nine graphic novels on the class reading list. Students presented an additional eight works by authors they favored.

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