Two weeks ago, on Friday, November 8, 2013, I spent the evening with several fourth grade Girl Scouts to discuss the career path of a cartoonist and help the young ladies create their own comic story. First we went over some emotions and character traits on the whiteboard, then I showed them some of my work and gave away free postcards for my comic strip, Curls, and copies of Magic Bullet #7, Washington, DC's comics newspaper, which I edit. It was funny to see them react to Magic Bullet: "What's this? A newspaper? I'm going to read this like an old person."
When I asked them how an old person reads a newspaper they held it with both arms extended and pretended to sip coffee. I thought it was hilarious, but also I felt the newspaper format sorta die right there in the generation gap. Once they flipped through Magic Bullet I was able to show them all the different art styles and they loved it.
The troop is working on "Agents of Change" which focuses on powers (skills) of one (girl), power of team, and power of community. This activity is the second part of the journey where the girls work together to create their own supergirl comic.
The girls broke off into groups of three, four, or five people to create their stories. The only prerequisites they had was that the story had to be about a girl (or team of girls) changing the world in a positive way. It was interesting to see how each group worked a little differently, yet many of the stories were environmental (saving the animals and nature) and almost every group featured "Emily" as the heroine name. The troop leaders and I walked around the room to help all the groups and then the girls presented their stories to everyone at the end of the night.
I had a great time working with the girls because I used to be a Girl Scout myself and my mom was a troop leader, so I'm very familiar with learning by earning badges and community service. As a side-note, I also adored how most of the girls had chipped fingernail polish.
One of the girls tweeted me a few days after the event: "I am so happy! I have been creating cartoons ever scence you came!" and "Thank you and curls is an amazing comic i love your website"
Thanks to the troop leader, Kate, for arranging the visit and thanks to Matt Dembicki for connecting me with Kate. Working with the Girl Scouts was certainly something I've wanted to do and the timing was perfect. I hope the girls got a lot out of the visit and I hope they continue to create great stories.
You can take a look at more photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152002321232381.1073741838.50763422380&type=3