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Comics: Gateway to literature

Graphic novelist will teach a workshop in North Plains Saturday


A lifelong love of comics and giving back to the community — that’s why Darren Davis emerges from his comic-plastered office and teaches others the art of the graphic novel. by: COURTESY PHOTO: DARREN DAVIS - Darren Davis, founder of Bluewater Productions, teaches graphic novel workshops in schools and communities.

Davis — an independent comic book publisher, writer and head of Bluewater Productions — will teach a free, all-age, graphic novel workshop this Saturday in North Plains.

Davis, who has taught comic creation in high schools and colleges, tries to spread the message that “you do not have to be an artist to work in comic books or be creative.”

Hoping to empower people in their creativity, his workshop covers writing and illustrating alike.by: COURTESY PHOTO: DARREN DAVIS - Bluewater Productions has published numerous comics, which Davis claims are no longer just lightweight reading material.

The workshop is open to all ages, and “even as a kid, you can do it,” Davis said, citing his niece who created her first comic at 10 years old.

With a solid background in the entertainment industry, Davis founded Bluewater Productions, publishing biographical comics, adaptations from films and original titles with self-created characters.

He has worked with William Shatner, Adam West and S.E. Hinton, author of “The Outsiders.”

His original title was inspired by Greek mythology. “Tenth Muse” turned out to be the sixth-highest selling comic in November 2001 and has been optioned for television. He also penned “Lost Raven,” a graphic novel featuring an HIV-positive hero.

Davis has made some inroads in traditional comics with the publication of a long and varied list of biographies, including a series called “Female Force” with titles such as “J.K. Rowling,” “Ellen DeGeneres” and “Sarah Palin.”

As a self-identified “library kid” who wishes he had the chance to experience what he offers in his workshops as a child, Davis doesn’t see graphic novels as lightweight reading any longer.

“In fact, I point to comics as the impetus that made me a better reader. As a child, I was a poor student and poor reader; as such, I avoided books,” Davis explained. “Comics improved my vocabulary, my reading confidence and instilled a life-long love for books. For me, comics were the gateway that opened up a whole world of literature.”




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