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Donna

Jul 242014
 

IMAG0590

 

Hello, Current and potentially new Comics for Kids students!

This email is just a quick announcement that class has been cancelled for the next two weeks, on account of summer break/everybody who is a current student being out of town!  (Poll: How many of you are out of town and down at SDCC?  Read as many great all-ages and kids comics down there as you can!  Top Shelf has some great stuff out.)

Normally, we love people who are interested to pop in and take a class.  Unfortunately, that won’t be possible tomorrow or next week, on account of our break.

If you are interested in having your child take a class at Meltdown, please email me (the instructor), directly with questions, at donna.v.letterese@gmail.com.  You can also peruse the Melt U section of our site for information.  Again, this email is just to let people know of our mini-hiatus.

Class will RESUME August 7th.  So, here’s the recap of everything you need to know schedule wise:

Thursday, July 24th: NO 3:30 TO 5:30 COMICS FOR KIDS CLASS

Thursday, July 31st: NO 3:30 TO 5:30 COMICS FOR KIDS CLASS

Thursday, August 7th: YES, COMICS FOR KIDS CLASS IS BACK ON!  AT THE MELTDOWN COMIC BOOK STORE, 3:30 TO 5:30.

Best wishes to all our readers, and will let everyone know when there’s more to read for you back here!  Have fun and stay safe, to everyone who has gone down to Comic Con!

 Posted by at 12:17 am
May 072014
 

Programming note:

Hi Everyone!

I am putting this announcement up on the blog.

Usually the Comics for Kids parents are all in an email loop, and if we need to cancel or reschedule class we let one another know.

However, I met lots of great parents and potential kids/students at Free Comic Book Day this past Saturday, when vending at the “Whatever You Wanna Sell” Sale at Meltdown.

So, in case anyone who I met was planning on dropping in/bringing their child to this week’s class, this email is just an FYI that I had to cancel tomorrow’s class to go to the Doctor (boo, migraines).  I wanted to make it as public-ly see-able as possible, in hopes nobody drops in on the one time class is not in session on a Thursday.

If anyone is interested in coming to our next class, email me at donna.v.letterese@gmail.com between now and Thursday the 15th, so I can let you know information about attending Comics for Kids.

Otherwise, carry on, and I hope everyone has a great Thursday/all the regular students have a great Thursday off!

Thanks for reading, and take care.

(-: ,

Donna A.K.A. Meltdown University’s “Comics For Kids” Instructor.

 Posted by at 10:39 pm
Feb 102014
 

Hi Everyone!

Here’s the update from our latest Comics for Kids Class.  To get a quick partial recap, check out this blog entry from last year, which was half of our lesson!  (Scroll only to the first part, which shows the lesson before the student work).

http://www.meltcomics.com/blog/2013/01/23/comics-for-kids-happy-january-2013-update-a-review-of-comic-types-and-new-lesson-on-drapery/

This year’s updated version of that lesson also discussed how to draw “flat” and non three dimensional characters/clothing, such as the very cute and graphic characters from “Adventuretime,” and also featured a section on how to do cartoon fashion illustration, for girls AND for guys!

So, without further ado, here’s the different drawings, line-work, and costuming the Meltdown Comics for Kids students did in 2014!  Thanks for reading, and keep scrolling down.   Everyone did a great job, worked really hard, and had very creative ideas.

By the way, Zoe’s work is the last student’s work listed, and the final drawing is of a girl with a dress and beret on. You might see lots of spacing, but all of the drawings are here!  You’ll know you’ve seen everything once you’ve scrolled to that final drawing of hers.

Without further ado, here are the drawings done by our student Jasper!  A fan of “Adventuretime,” Jasper prefers costume styles with a clean, graphic look to them, without too much wrinkling or shading of the garments.  His first character wore a snazzy vest and clean slacks, which you can still see even though a Pencil Tornado scribbled over him!   In his “Adventuretime” drawings, you can see how the human characters are well dressed, and there’s a really nice aesthetic balance between the black and white.  Black shoes and white pants make black shirts pop!  You can also notice the really nice line-work on the T-shirt pattern, hidden behind the black cardigans on top.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 10:34 pm
Jan 232014
 

Hi everyone, and Happy New Year!

We’re playing catch-up with the blog entries from later 2013 through early 2014, so, please check out the great work the Meltdown Uni kids did either on the lesson about creating alien and robot characters, or, on how to create suspense in their comics and drawings.  The suspense lesson for returning students is still being uploaded, but below is the Alien and Robots lesson (read the instructional part only, as the work by these students will be in this recap):

http://www.meltcomics.com/blog/2012/06/25/aliens-and-robots-making-non-human-characters-in-the-meltdown-comics-for-kids-class/

The descriptions specific to each student will explain what lesson they worked from.  Without further ado, check out the awesome drawings and comics everyone made (-: Scroll down, and thanks for reading.

P.S.– the blog has been spacing a bit far apart of late, so make sure you scroll ALL the way to the end to see everyone’s work!  Our student Sam’s description, and subsequent drawings, are the last on the blog, so that’s the final thing you should see when reading through.

Below are the great works done by Maddie!  She focused on character designs, and a comic based on twins– one a regular human being, and the other an evil Robot!  Her character designs were very strongly formed, and done with nice clean pencil lines.  They were especially strong drawings since the twins look almost exactly alike– yet, you can tell that the bad twin is a robot, through subtle angles and details.

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Continue reading »

 Posted by at 8:57 am
Nov 132013
 

Hi Everybody!

The blog is currently full of student work to still be uploaded, which is great, although it makes it a bit like the Tortoise from the Tortoise and the Hare.  Plugging along, but slowly!  In any case, since All Hallow’s eve was not long ago, this blog post is going to focus on the monster characters our students creatively came up with.

If you go to this link, you can check out the monster creation and cool combinations the students learned how to create!

http://www.meltcomics.com/blog/2012/11/01/comics-for-kids-recap-creating-monster-characters/

Students who missed our pre-Halloween lesson got to create their monster characters for the first time in our last class.  The students who had made their monster characters previously continued those characters stories, while actually learning how to ink with a brush pen!  That ink work will be covered next.  But without further ado, here’s this Monster-ous (ha ha) blog!

And without further delay, meet the great characters, comics, and drawings, created by Zoe, Maddie, Sam, and Mason!  Scroll down to see their hard work, and thanks for tuning in to Comics for Kids :-D

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 9:56 pm
Oct 232013
 

Hi everyone!  Welcome to the latest student work update from the “Comics for Kids” blog!

This past lesson was on how to create Newspaper Comics.  In other words, your own take on “The Far Side,” “Get Fuzzy,” “Peanuts,” or any style of story that’s funny, not too complicatedly designed, and told in short form.  Newspaper comics are sometimes Gag comics in one panel, and generally only range from three to six when longer.

So, without further ado, here is the work done by the students!  They were each required to do at least one single panel comic, and then a three panel comic, and a six panel comic.  Everyone did a great job, so please scroll down to the fun drawings below.

Thanks for reading, and tune in next time!  The comics are below.

First off, we have Maddie’s Gag comic!  In a very “Adventuretime” kind of world, Mr. Cloud was hogging all of the popularity, and getting a ton of attention from the other little fruits and weather-y characters.  Unfortunately, Mr. Sun was jealous.

If you scroll down, the pictures are connected, but it is a separate story.  In Maddie’s Mer-Girls story, it’s a classic tale of big girls not wanting to include their very very young sister, and her being too young to understand she needs to wait a bit.  Maddie’s character designs were very cute and clean, and she did a great job of keeping the comic mostly focused on the dialogue and the drawings, which is very important in newspaper comics!

Lastly, her final longer newspaper comic featured a little Kawaii style Fruit character walking, falling off a cliff, and experiencing a classic gag/animation style dilemma.   We talked about physical comedy and gags a lot in this lesson, and this cute little story employed those themes perfectly!

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Next up is Zoe’s work!  Zoe’s first comic combined Christmas and Halloween, featuring little characters who were showing up on the wrong holiday.  There was a great deadpan moment where  the main character unimpressed, asked “Seriously??” to her Winter Trick or Treaters.

Zoe then had her three panel, and six panel, Newspaper comics, respectively.  The first employed a classic gag comic, of one character pushing another and the other falling (a bit like Lucy and Charlie of “Peanuts,” anyone?).  Next, her “Merlywood” characters (her original comic she usually works on) did an appearance in a shorter than usual story.  The little Mer-Cat decided she wanted to get out of the Ocean, and made a Shell Rocket to blast herself upwards!  Luckily she stayed pretty safe, and it was a very cute gag comic.

Finally, Zoe made her own newspaper style panels, featuring new Kawaii style fruit characters.  The character design on these characters was very classically Anime and cute, and she even made sure to use what we learned about language/punning in Newspaper comics!  Note that the Carrot character cannot see, which is a visual joke/pun on the fact that carrots are meant to be eaten to improve vision.

Zoe1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zoe2 Zoe3 Zoe4 Zoe5

 

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And finally, we have Woody’s Work!  Woody is going to be doing work outside of class editing/creating newspaper comics, and he was very inspired by the fact that Halloween is almost upon us.

First, Woody did a cover drawing of his edible, sweet, and semi-scary character, the Paranormal Marshmellow!  Below that was his gag comic, where the poor Marshmellow could simply not convince his friend at Halloween time that that was how he was, and not in a costume.

Next, Woody did some very well designed character sketches: Slaw, the Evil Halloween Monster, and his Robot character.  Below that, you can see two more of his very funny and cute gag comics: one with very apt physical humor of a costumed boy being tripped at a school parade, and another of a very unimpressed kitty (as he’s being given the wrong type of food).  Woody did a great job with the character’s body language and facial expressions, driving home the lesson’s point that you can communicate a great deal in a newspaper style comic, even without a lot of cross hatching or complicated background design.

And finally, were his longer newspaper style comics!  His six panel long comic did interesting splits across the panels, playing well with the format, and his three panel long comic focused on “Bunny of Horrors,” a character he came up with some time back.  The humor was greatly displayed with the little bunny, as his rage was zoomed in upon (being evil but fluffy, he is often frustrated that people do not see his true power and scariness– a bit like the fluffy white cat named “Mister Tinkles” from the 2000 CGI/Live action film, “Cats and Dogs,” if anyone remembers that).

Woody1

Woody2 Woody3 Woody8 Woody7 Woody6 Woody5 Woody4

 Posted by at 8:30 pm
Sep 182013
 

Hi Everybody!  Welcome to the latest Comics For Kids review.

This past week’s lesson was on “Animal Characters,” and the difference between Anthropomorphic, Semi-Anthropomorphic, and Regular Animal Characters.  Read up on the details below.

http://www.meltcomics.com/blog/2012/09/13/comics-for-kids-meltdown-characters-creating-animal-characters/

Below, check out the work done by our student Zoe!  Zoe is continuing her series “Merlywood,” which features characters who are semi-anthropomorphic.  Her Cat-Fish protagonist is like a mermaid- cat, with almost full anthropomorphic abilities (she speaks to her friends, goes to the store, has a very human/mermaid like life in her underwater realm), what makes her not totally anthropomorphic is that she cannot communicate with others in the human realm.  In fact, in this latest comic she is tricked by a mean human girl, who leads her to believe she’s going to play with her, but captures her instead.

If you scroll down, you can see a wide shot of the comic, and then several detail shots.  Zoe is doing a great job of showing sequentila scene changes, of putting in a good variety of lights and darks with shadows, and showing new things in her character design.  While the Merlywood characters are very clearly semi-anthropomorphic animals (a la “Finding Nemo”), the human girl is designed differently, and clearly from a different realm.  Check out the great drawings and suspense filled story below!

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Next up, are the works of our student Sophia!  Since it was her first class, she focused on character design and wanted to create a humanoid character– although mermaids are slightly animal-like, with their scales, tales, and abilities to breathe underwater.

Sophia did a very nice job with the proportions of her characters, with detailed pencil line work, and just enough shading and grey to balance everything out.  Her character design and movement was very strong, combining the correct motions that a human would use for the top half, and a mermaid would use for the bottom.  This beautiful character’s name is Victoria!  Scroll down to see her.

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Next up, is Maddie’s work!  Maddie wanted to focus on animals who were pretty much completely anthropomorphic, in that they walk on two legs, they talk, and they wear clothes!  These characters are from the TV show, “The Amazing World of Gumball,” where Maddie made up her own story.  In very humanoid and anthropomorphic fashion, the main action thus far of the comic involved an animal ninja scaling the house, and then falling through the roof into the main house.

Maddie’s character designs were very well done, with her own style but very exactly rendered from the original designs, and she did a very good job of having cinematic and humorous movements between the panels.  Just like in a Cartoon show, there were character establishing shots, a title shot, and then a wide shot, leading into a close up (the ninja climbing, to then fall into the house).  Check out her great sequential work and character designs below!

Once you scroll down to check out out Maddie’s work, that’s the end of our recap.  Thanks for tuning in, and check back next time to see more wonderful work from the “Comics for Kids” students!

m1 m3

 Posted by at 4:00 pm
Sep 042013
 

Hi everyone!  Thanks for tuning into this latest recap on the  “Comics for Kids” student work.  This is going to show work that our students Peter and Woody did earlier this summer.

Below, you can see the work that Woody Tuttle did in accordance with the “Fables” lesson, which was recapped below:

http://www.meltcomics.com/blog/2013/09/03/fables-fairy-tales-and-dragons-in-comics-for-kids/

Woody’s take on the fairy tale was a very modern day Grimm’s Brother’s take, involving scary ghostly figures who are able to transform into forests, and disappear at will.  “Kreepy Kid,” while only being three feet tall, is terrifying and makes misfortune fall anyone who dares to look upon him.  As you can see in Woody’s story, a couple is driving around a mountain-y bend (Big Sur, perhaps), and then this tiny, yet evil, guy appears.

After he causes them to crash, he is able to transform himself into an evil, cackling tree, and then the forest itself.  Woody did a great job of designing a character who is a bit like a person and a bit like a monster (just the way it happens often in Fairy Tales), and with using the pencil to great effect showing fog, and how this monster character could so easily disappear and reappear.  Scroll down to read more, and to see the Kreepy Kid character design!

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And next up, we have Peter’s work from the “How to Draw Hands” lesson.  The link to that lesson is below.

http://www.meltcomics.com/blog/2013/08/14/comics-for-kids-update-how-to-draw-hands-lesson-portion-1/

Peter’s passion is often drawing monster characters that are detailed, sometimes humanoid, and sometimes entirely monster.  In this lesson, Peter did a great job of practicing how to draw standard human hands, as well as incorporating his monster character design into the assignment.  His standard human hands are at the end of the photo set.  His monsters before-hand have somewhat humanoid qualities to their hands, and you can see how they quickly and easily pick up a poor and unsuspecting human.  He did a great job of practicing how hands appear when they are still, and also how they appear when in motion or gripping something.  Scroll down to see all his great character design and drawings!

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As always, thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the next “Comics for Kids” recap!

 Posted by at 1:24 pm
Sep 042013
 

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Above is the comic work done by our student Maddie, who decided to do her entire story in pencil!  She did a great job with delicate line work, and just enough shading and grey to balance everything out.  Her character design and facial expressions were also very vibrant, and brought you into the world of the story she created!

Kids had the choice of doing something entirely in pencil with shading, or working in pencil with the intention of inking it later– like a professional comic book “penciller” would do!  Below is the link to the lesson, for more info on what the kids learned:

http://www.meltcomics.com/blog/2013/09/03/new-pencil-techniques-lesson-comics-for-kids/

Now, let’s scroll down to see even more student work!

The next two pieces were by Ashlee, who decided to do a drawing based on a fictional mermaid character of her own, and also to do a drawing from life.  There was a plush “Owly” toy for kids to look at and draw, to practice drawing shadows from real life with the pencil technique.  She made lots of cross hatching marks to emphasize the shadows, and also did very nicely using the blending tool on both her “Owly” portrait and her mermaid piece!

Ashlee Mermaid

 

Ashley Owly

Next up, was Zoe’s work!  Her comic called “Merly Wood” chronicled the adventures of a little Cat Fish (which can be seen quite literally) swimming around in her underwater town, saving other fishes, and having adventures!  At the bottom of the page Zoe also drew a portrait of a Mr. Crab (from Spongebob) toy that was in the store.

With the use of the blending tool, as well as knowing when to press lightly and when to apply pressure, Zoe was able to accomplish drawing a fully pencil comic with a wide variety of shades that employed the gray scale very well.

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Next up was Riley’s work!  She too decided to draw an “Owly” portrait, as well as practicing pencil patterning and calligraphy.  She had a very good command of the pencil and using it to make delicate lines, and she also enjoyed the idea of “pencilling”– when you draw something in pencil as a cartoonist, with the intention of inking over it later.  Her preferred form of ink was markers made of different colors.

Riley3Pencil

Riley2Pencil

Riley1Next up, we have Malena’s work!  Malena ultimately decided to learn how to draw the face, so we went over how to properly proportion a cartoon face when one is drawing comics.  We also talked about where the shadows and highlights fall under a person’s chin, their hair, and other ways light and shadow come into play.  Malena’s cartoon girl is not only very pretty, she is proportioned just as she should be, with very nice emphasized shadows for the girl’s eyebrows, upper lip, and bottom of her hair, to show where the least light would be reflected. Great job!

Malena Portrait

Next up, we have Lilly’s work!  Lilly focused mostly on drawing portraits of 3-D cartoon characters.  “Owly” was one, and then a little monster character and Mr. Crab from “Spongebob” even got featured!  Drawing from toys or cartoon 3-D figures can be very helpful, since it allows a student to practice character design and drawing of an established cartoon figure, as well as practicing the real life exercise of drawing how light and shadow appear from a real life object.  It’s a bit like a still-life, but with cartoony characters instead of a bowl of fruit.

In any case, Lilly had a great command of the pencil, and used the blending tool to great effect.  “Owly” in particular was dramatically lit, and that can be seen in the ways that the shadows are more dramatic where he sits, and right around the under part of his wings and his feet.  She added in some funny personal touches with Mr. Crab (giving him a bag of money), and a mischevious expression on the monster character that she drew.  Overall, she did a lovely job using the pencil medium and it would be great to see her work with pencil again!

Lilly Owly

Lilly I think Crab

Lilly again

Next up, we have Bridget’s work!  Bridget was very interested in using the darker graphite pencil and the blending tool.  She was also very interested in working with fine lines, and doing small details.  She did a great job on precise linework on the scales of her mermaid’s tale, as well as with the parts of the clouds that were darker.  The blending tool helped smooth those lines out, giving the sky a rich variety of different types of gray.  And finally, the girls took a break and did some portraits of one another, and as you can see below she drew a portrait of Zoe!

Bridget

And next up, we have Audrey’s work!  Audrey is a passionate “Archie” comics fan, and wanted to create her own drawings and stories based on those characters.  She decided to work as a penciller, where she drew all of her story and characters in pencil, and traced over them with a cartooning ink pen.  Audrey followed the rules of pencilling perfectly, and made sure not to over-shadow her drawings, so that it would be easier to ink them.  She let enough pencil show through to get some nice grays, but mostly let the ink work do the talking.  Her characters were well designed, and had hilarious facial expressions (look at jealous Veronica and love-struck Archie!).  Scroll down to read her story of Betty and Veronica’s continued rivalry over Riverdale’s favorite red-head.

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And last, but not least, a few of the girls took a break during class to draw portraits of one another!  Based on the drawing styles you’ve seen above, can you guess who sat for what portrait, and which student DREW that person?

Zoe Portrait

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portrait Maybe By Bridget or by zoe of bridget

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

drawing of zoe maybe by ashlee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the next “Comics for Kids” recap!

 Posted by at 12:52 pm
Sep 032013
 

Hi everyone!  Here’s another lesson from the Comics for Kids Division over at Meltdown University.

As previously mentioned, there will be a few of these entries to catch everyone up on the lessons recently had, and the students recent work.  Below is the lesson from the week of August 15th!   As always, scroll down to read and see what the students learned, and look out for the follow up blog to see their actual artwork.

FABLES, FAIRY TALES, and DRAGONS!

Lots of artists like stories where magical things happen— whether that means “Magic the Gathering,” “Dungeons and Dragons,” or “Harry Potter,” magic is used in comic book world quite a lot. and “true magic,” making something fantastical (like a talking bunny with powers), creating a superhero story (because super powers are like magic, in a lot of ways), or having a story where the bad guy is punished in the end—

Fantasy stories are also often called fables, because along with cool magic elements, they often have a larger message.  This is something that falls over into Superhero stories.

NOTE:  Fairy Tales are not just for girls, and definitely not always about fairies!  Same with the Fantasy genre overall.  Pointing that out  so that everyone realizes they can draw and write stories related to this.

Fables or fairy tales are short stories that may feature fantasy characters (elves, trolls, giants, gnomes, and fairies), as well as magic or enchantments. The stories may have some kind of lesson about MORALS—meaning, what is right and what is wrong.

Here are some common themes.

1a Continue reading »

 Posted by at 11:59 pm