Marek Bennett to run “Comics Workshop StoryWalk” at Temple and Antrim libraries

  • Marek Bennett works on a comic.   Photo courtesy Marek Bennett

  • Marek Bennett Courtesy Photo

  • Marek Bennett works on a comic. Photo courtesy Marek Bennett

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/11/2021 10:24:22 AM

When Marek Bennett needs inspiration, he walks outside. He goes to graveyards, street corners, interacts with the community.

“I’m walking over all of these stories,” he said.

He questions what stories are visibly marked and what stories were never told. He asks himself, “Who decides that? And what story does that tell?”

“If we each draw our community we are each going to take a different approach,” Bennett said, and that act of creation is where a story starts.

Kicking off this week, Bennett is running a “Comics Workshop StoryWalk” at local libraries around the region. Due to concerns about traveling community to community during the COVID pandemic, Bennett will be appearing over Zoom at a different library each day. All are welcome, and the event is free, sponsored by the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. 

Bennett will be presenting at Mansfield Public Library in Temple Nov. 13 at 10 a.m., Hill Library in Strafford Nov. 17 at 4 p.m., the James A. Tuttle Library in Antrim Nov. 18 at 6:30 p.m. and Fuller Public Library in Hillsborough on Nov. 20 at 10 a.m. Those interested should contact one of the libraries to register and can choose to go in person or join in over Zoom. Necessary materials include paper, a pencil, a pen and scissors, and some libraries have material kits available. People are welcome to bring any other materials they may want.

During the session, attendees will create their own comics. Bennett will demonstrate how to make an eight-page booklet and will share some of his own work with the group. The libraries will display the finished comics, and those who want to spend more time on their comics can bring them back to showcase later.

Bennett has been making comics since age 5. He said he loved to “see how people could look at [the comic] and tell the story back to you.” Bennett added that comics are an accessible form of art and literature, both for the creator and the reader. They can be extremely simple or complex, but they are communicating through art and text.

“Comics engage all aspects of human intelligence,” Bennett said.

To draw, Bennett explained, has a double meaning.

“Creating something on the page and bringing someone in,” he said, and a comic does both. “Comics invite us to mix our emotions, our words, our observations of the world around us. Artists of all ages can do that.”

When instructing students, Bennett tells them not to worry about “all that technical stuff,” and students will surprise themselves and their teachers with what they create.

“It’s a really powerful permission,” Bennett said.

Bennett encourages comic-makers to start with a favorite book, a tour of their community or a family history and grow their own story from there.

“All of my graphic novels come from the approach of stepping into space and learning about it,” he said.

More information about the  events is available at marekbennett.com/storywalk and on the local libraries’ websites.




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