by Mel Wells
This week, two of Vanessa Hughes’ Media & Society classes from Cleveland High School took field trips to the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) as part of their Writers in the Schools residency with Lisa Eisenberg. These students had been studying graphic novels and working on creating their own comics, and the IPRC Program Coordinator, A.M. O’Malley, gave a great presentation on both the resources at the IPRC (including free Youth Hours on Sundays from noon to 5pm) and the history and purpose of zines.
Then the students got to work on their own pages for a class zine. Each person had a single sheet of paper on which to create a comic on the theme “about me.” Everyone spread throughout the space, hunching over tables or using books to draw on their laps in large lounge chairs. As each student finished, they handed the sheet to A.M., who pasted them all into a book that she then copied and collated.
When everyone was finished and all the copies were printed, A.M. showed the students how to fold and bind their own copies of the class zine. The pages were still warm from the copier as students flipped through the zines, smiling and talking as they read.
In January, Cleveland students will be back at the IPRC to read the work they’re creating and revising with writer-in-residence Lisa Eisenberg. You can join us there on Wednesday, January 15 at 7:00pm to see and hear these students share their creations!