Polly and the Black Ink graphic novel and I returned to the local independent bookstore Hooray for Books.
Special thanks to Ellen for having me in her fantastic and always updated store again. (They always have events happening all the time - check their schedule.) I will be returning there next September with new Polly volumes.
Polly and the Black Ink Volume III: Heroes and Villains book III is coming out soon. What a better way to celebrate it than a free workshop, teaching the audience to draw their hero or villain from scratch.
Volume III: Heroes and Villains
We had a great time.
I'm grateful my audience included children from 5-years-old up to adults. I'm happy that in the end, the parents joined the fun as well.
One of the tables:
I started by introducing Polly, telling her story.
Polly moves to Sanctuary. From a big city to a small island that shows in no map in the world. Everyone who lives there has a secret and... Polly discovers that something evil followed her to the island.
My audience quickly pointed out the Black Ink as the great mysterious Evil. They learned the Black Ink was responsible for turning people grey.
One of the kids in the audience had a grey hoodie, and her reaction was great. Without wasting time, I reassured Kassie that Polly was going to save her from becoming grey too because Polly is the only one who can see it happen and she will open a door into Kassie's world and save her core.
We broke the ice it was time to start drawing.
Basic shapes make different characters.
I use a lot of round and oval shapes to make them look cute. With squares and straight lines I can create more heroic and stronger characters, and for villains, I reserve harsh and sharp shapes.
I had to make sure we could see all of these personality traits just by looking at her. Also, Polly inherited a stone with special powers from her aunt. Thus I named their family Mason.
At the bookstore, I drew Polly in a large pad for everyone to see, explaining my choices for having large black eyes and balance that creepy feeling by drawing no nose. Having no nose makes her look cute and younger, while other characters have large or long noses, giving them different personalities.
I gave Polly wild bright red hair and a flowing-fairy-rainbow skirt so she can freely move while she rescues her friends.
When Polly visits the parallel, fantasy worlds called The Other Side her clothes change.
To balance the heavy boots ( I love boots) and her weapons ( colorful crayons and exploding rainbow marbles) I added some puffy shoulders more like a princess, and a turquoise hair scarf to crown her head that she uses all the time.
In the real world she wears a plush backpack cat, but on The Other Side, the cat (Paws) is alive and her sidekick in the fight against the black ink.
I wish we could stay there all day and talk about the other characters. Some are not even human like Paws, Jay, Walfie, Manny, Mr. Grey, Allyson, David, Jax, Owen, Claire... How different their shapes and color scheme make them different from each other.
Thank you, Parents ,for all the good humor and input. Everyone shared their favorite books, animations, movies and characters. Thank you for getting copies of my books.
Somehow I ended up sketching Pokemon, dragons and Star Wars characters in the end and offering them to my awesome audience.
But that's what drawing is about: starting with the best references, learning and sharing.
I hope we can do this again soon. Stay close, don't miss out.
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Also thanks, Michael Rhode for your time and for getting both volumes.
You should check his blog ComicsDC
"Psst! Pss! Are there dragons... in Polly and the Black Ink books?"
Well... shhhhh... maybe? : )