Lake Erie Ink hosts Sept. 25 comics fest, and weekly workshop
Is there an educational value to comic books? Lake Erie Ink thinks so. The Cleveland Heights-based writing space for youth has been working with aspiring comic book writers and illustrators for more than 10 years. This fall, Lake Erie Ink is running a Mini-Comics Fest on Sept. 25, as well as a weekly series of comic design workshops.
While typically focused on other forms of writing, Lake Erie Ink has found that comic design is an educational, as well as popular, method of supporting creative expression and inspiring new narrative forms among youth.
When Lake Erie Ink started running its yearly spring Kids Comic Con (a convention focused on comic books and related forms of pop culture), the event’s overwhelming success led to an increased demand for comic-related programs. Now, in addition to the annual Comic Con, Lake Erie Ink offers comic-themed summer camps, weekly groups, and special events, such as the Mini Comics Fest on Sept. 25.
“Teaching comics is offering kids the opportunity to engage and interact with artists [to] try their own hand at different narrative forms,” Amy Rosenbluth, executive director of Lake Erie Ink, noted. “It helps them develop their creativity, find new ways to express themselves, and discover new communities.”
The value of creativity and safe expression has never been more important than it is now. “Given the stress of the fall," Rosenbluth added, "youth need a safe space to engage with something they’re excited about without fear of being judged.” Comic workshops provide that space.
Lake Erie Ink's Mini-Comics Fest on Sept. 25 features local artists Od Perry-Richardson and Michelle Littlejohn. Its Alternative Comics Making course for teens, with Matt Haberbusch, takes place remotely, on Tuesday evenings. To learn more about these programs, go to lakeerieink.org.
Eli Millette is the communications and outreach director at Lake Erie Ink. He currently lives and works in Cleveland Heights.