Unshaven Comics has published a new, all-ages graphic novel, “Blooms: Heist on Magical Girl Vault,” that was made in collaboration with Chicago comic book artist Stephanie Mided.
The company consists of Homewood natives Marc Alan Fishman, Matt Wright and Kyle Gnepper. They touted the new book at the recent Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo convention, commonly known as C2E2.
“It’s about four people who band together over a plot to break into the secret mountain vault of the magical girls of their city,” Gnepper said.
“It’s a magical girls story with a twist on it where it actually doesn’t focus on the magical girls,” Mided said. “It focuses on one of the ex-girlfriends of one of the magical girls. And realizing that the person that brought the magical girls together, this magical creature, doesn’t really have good intentions. And so, this girl is trying to warn her ex-girlfriend and the team to save their world.”
Wright said there’s nothing else like the creative freedom that comes with making a comic.
“In this day and age, with digital movies and all the special effects that go on, a lot of that has caught up to a lot of people’s imaginations. But you still can’t make a Hollywood budget to create some of the things that comics can create,” Wright said.
“There are many times in comics where you can get away with certain story beats of just pure silence and showing things. Whereas, in a book, you’re having to describe every single thing.”
The trio have been teaching comic book basics with the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District in recent years and will teach their Comic Book 101 classes again on the last three Saturdays in May.
While it isn’t finalized yet, they’re hoping to start a new, more advanced Comic Book 201 version of the class for returning students in the fall.
The Comic Book 101 class will meet at Irwin Community Center. Fishman said that anyone, young or old, is welcome.
“If you can sit for an hour and half, you are more than welcome. We teach you how to make a comic book from soup to nuts – the whole thing,” Fishman said. “We teach it to everyone’s confidence level. It’s really more about the nuts and bolts of making a comic than it is specific anatomy or anything like that. But if it’s something where you yourself want to pursue it, we’re there to answer the questions.”
Fishman said the Comic Book 101 class often has kids and some adults who are returning students. Unshaven Comics continues to teach them where they left off. But with these students in mind, the more advanced Comic Book 201 class is in development for the fall.
“Rumor has it, sometime in the fall, we’re going to have a 201 course for people who have taken [our class] before,” Fishman said. “We’re talking with Jenna and folks at the H-F Park District. They said that there’s enough interest for us advancing the course foreword now.”
Among other subjects, Fishman said a Comic Book 201 class probably will teach more about coloring and drawing anatomy than their 101 class does.
“This will allow us to dive deeper into the individual lessons,” Fishman said.