Professor Neil Kendricks describes Word Balloons: "From its inception in 2009, the artists and writers behind the comic-book anthology Word Balloons extend an open invitation for readers to embrace daydreams and fantasies blossoming on these pages before you. The latest volume of this ongoing mini-comics series created San Diego State University students-turned-comics creators proves one undeniable fact: Comics rock!
This collaboration between my friend and fellow artist Neil Shigley’s beginning, intermediate and advanced Illustration class and my Graphic Novel class at SDSU gets stronger and more experimental with each new book. Fortunately, our efforts have not gone unnoticed since SDSU’s Love Library showed major love for Word Balloons by purchasing all of the installments to date for its collection.
You read that last sentence correctly: Word Balloons is available at SDSU’s library where it will be archived long after these students have graduated and moved on with their lives.
However, the road from concepts pitched in class to finding a long-term home on a library’s shelf is hardly an easy route. Rather, the process calls for navigating a challenging maze of brainstorm sessions, refining rough drafts and transforming sketches into fully realized drawings gradually taking shape over the course of a semester.
The journey starts the lightning flash of ideas illuminating once empty pages. The question of “What if?” morphs into stories populated with characters in conflict with each other and, sometimes, with themselves. Many of the comics feature old-school drawing skills expressed with pencils, pens, charcoal and paint on paper while others emerge from a matrix of pixels dancing on computer screens.
Regardless of their tools of choice, the youthful comics creators behind Word Balloons revel in a genre mash-up of themes and styles. Here, you will discover science-fiction fables sharing space with horror stories while other tales grounded in reality provide a glimpse into everyday life under duress."
Visit SDSU Special Collections to view Word Balloons or purchase copies from the links below.
The San Diego State University Press started a comics imprint in 2018! Amatl is the Nahuatl - or Aztec - word for the tree bark papwr used in pre-contact civilizations.
View these comics in SDSU Special Collections or purchase copies from the the links below.