Among the celebrities, comic book legends, and movie studios present at Comic-Con, there is a young generation of comic book artists, high school students from Carmel Valley’s Canyon Crest Academy.
Students from their Envision Conservatory for the Humanities worked with their Envision Visual Arts Conservatory to write and edit a comic book with a message about environment preservation.
It’s called "Jasper and the Spirit Skies."
It has a multinational approach that will continue into the following school year. The plot follows a hummingbird migration route that goes into the southern end of Panama. Their students have built a relationship with students in Panama to help create a second volume for their book.
“It’s really special because it teaches what can be a complicated message but simplified it for a younger audience,” explained 16-year-old Frances Chai. “If you’re just trying to tell kids all about the environment, all the science jargon, they are not going to understand, but with this you can really look at the images and figure out the story. We are here to show that high school students can do something as daunting as having a comic book.”
Chai said it’s taken a large team of students to create, produce and execute volume one.
“There [are] so many moving parts,” she said.
Recent high school graduate and one of the Spirit Skies’ artists, Jessica Li, said the key was collaborating between the student writers and the student artists. Li said they worked together to help create the storyline.
The group held a panel on Thursday and said it made them feel like they belonged at Comic-Con. They admitted that being so young made them feel not fit to be there on day one, but now they feel like they are “in” with the Comic-Con world. They will host another panel on Saturday at noon at Central Library in the Shiley Special Events room.