London museum acquires UMSL student comics
Work produced by Dan Younger’s comics and cartoons class is in international demand.
Younger, professor of art, teaches Comics and Cartoon Illustrations at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, where students contribute to a class-produced comic book each semester.
The Cartoon Museum in London has acquired the collection of work produced by Younger’s students and plans to collect future class comics as well. Last year, the Billy Ireland Cartoon and Comic Book Museum in Columbus, Ohio, announced it would acquire samples of the comic books produced by Younger’s students.
“The students taking my class are regular UMSL students working on a project, but they will be guaranteed to be in a comic book at the end of the class,” Younger said. “Now there’s a standing order for that comic book in a museum in Ohio and a museum in London.”
Younger found the museum while visiting London last summer. He was there to teach a class and was scouting the route to the British Museum when he spotted the comics museum a few blocks away. Later, he stopped in and discussed the classes he teaches with the museum’s operators. They expressed an interest in collecting his students’ works. Younger is also working with the museum to develop a display of works by UMSL alumni.
Despite the international recognition, Younger’s class is geared toward artists of all skill levels, even those who aren’t art majors or who might be intimidated by putting pen to paper.
Students learn about drawing with ink pens and crafting a story, but they also learn about pricing, printing and working with publishers. The class is tailored for beginners and early assignments are like calisthenics, designed to get their creative juices flowing, like the first assignment to draw 100 heads.
“The first 20 or so are easy,” Younger said. “The rest are hard. You have to come up with things you haven’t thought of before, like a triangle-shaped, or a square-shaped or a long noodle-shaped head.”
Younger first started teaching the class while on the faculty at Louisiana Tech University. Now at UMSL, he teaches the course when his schedule as a photography professor permits.
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