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George Fox University club forms and creates an anthology of illustrated stories in comic strip form

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Barron Bell instigated formation of the GFU Graphic Novel Club when he assumed a professorship at the Newberg university in August.

Most people would look at a group of George Fox students' work and call them comic books, but technically speaking they are referred to as graphic novels and a club devoted to their creation has sprung up on the Newberg campus of the university.

Their work came together recently with the creation of a collection of 11 stories titled Luminosity: The Anthology.

Bryce Heimuller, co-president of the GFU Graphic Novel Club with fellow senior illustration major Tyler Friesen, says the club has a particular audience in mind for the anthology.

"Anyone who appreciates comic books, young and old," Heimuller said. "Our stories come in a wide variety of visual styles and deal with common topics such as body positivity, relationship problems, leadership and running from the space police."

He furthered explained that graphic novels are "a visual story told in the format of a comic strip and published as a book."SUBMITTED PHOTO - GFU Graphic Novel Club co-president Bryce Heimuller, a senior illustration member, contributed to Luminosty: The Anthology.

GFU professor Barron Bell, also a graphic novelist, serves as advisor for the club and was the impetus for its creation when he joined the school's staff in August.

"Tyler and I jumped on board as soon as we heard and before we knew it, we were co-presidents of a graphic novel club," Heimuller said.

While most of the members of the club major in illustration or graphic design, others emanate from the education, nursing and theater branches of the school

"The one thing we all have in common is a passion for telling stories with our art," Heimuller said.

Fourteen students and Bell were involved in the creation of the anthology; this semester three additional students "have expressed potential interest in the next volume," Heimuller said.

Heimuller said plans for a second anthology containing 10 stories are in the works, but the club's aspirations don't stop there.

"Our goal is to publish two volumes per year of this anthology to allow some students to continue their stories and others to join and create new ones," he said.

Profits from pre-sales of the second anthology, Heimuller said, will allow the club to advertise around campus via posters and flyers.

"And we're hoping to possibly have a booth at Rose City Comic Con in Portland this fall," he said. "By then we're planning on having two volumes completed."

For more information or to order the first anthology, visit www.gfugraphicnovel.com.


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