Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mark Crilley Visits NJ! Part Two

So the wheels were in motion to have artist and author Mark Crilley visit with the help of our local PTA. Unfortunately it was too late in the school year to plan for a program, so they suggested that we try for the following school year. This was great news and all went ahead smoothly, even surviving a change in the PTA president. She and the media specialist made plans and room in the budget for a day of author presentations and a drawing workshop at one of the middle schools. 

Success! Right? Well almost. You see, this plan began with my private students who ranged from elementary through high school, and who attended public and parochial schools. And of the students who signed the petition at the one middle school, many of those moved up to the high school the next year. So what about students who didn't necessarily attend the one school that did accept our request? My daughter and I were so happy to be getting Mark Crilley to come see us, but we really wanted one more appearance where anyone who was a fan could come see him locally.

Mark Crilley draws as he talks about his career in the visual arts.

Students attend the drawing workshop.

I had one more idea up my sleeve, and went and asked for help. We are customers and fans of our local comic shop, A Little Shop of Comics right here in town, and the owners are fantastic. Their shop has a room they use for gaming and events, and I asked if they would help host a local Mark Crilley appearance for anyone in town to attend. They agreed and so did Mark. We were set! The shop had its biggest turnout for a comic artist paying a visit, and lots of fans and art students came out to hear him speak and sign autographs.

Mark Crilley and my family at A Little Shop of Comics.

Mark Crilley with Steve and Lena at A Little Shop of Comics.

Mark Crilley titles at A Little Shop of Comics.

Signing autographs.

I hope this helps anyone who may be thinking about or actually in the middle of efforts to have a visiting author or artist come to their town. My students, and my daughter especially proved to me that persistence, flexibility and a positive attitude can make things happen. And I have to say thank you again to Mark Crilley for his communication, his visit and amazing presentations, drawing workshops, and personal attention to his fans. It was indeed a pleasure having him spend the day with us!

My autographed copy of Mastering Manga.
One other thing I have to mention. Mr. Crilley was so appreciative of our efforts, 
and particularly the efforts of my daughter who had sought out her media specialist, 
and circulated petitions to fellow students to sign in favor of having this author visit. 
He gave her a very special gift: one of his pencil drawings featured on his Youtube channel. Thanks again Mark Crilley!
A lovely gift!

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