Nicaragua Comics Travel Journal

Tue 11/17/2009

Another great comic book that I read recently is the Nicaragua Comics Travel Journal by Marek Bennett.

Marek makes me feel lazy. I like to think of myself as a busy, productive person, but Marek does pretty much everything I do (he self-publishes his awesome Mimi's Doughnuts Zine, he teaches comics and he even makes music) and then on top of that he also does WAY MORE stuff that I will never do.

The Nicaragua Comics Travel Journal documents Marek's amazing trip to Central America, where he traveled to create a comics exchange program between Henniker, New Hampshire and San Ramón, Matagalpa.

It was an incredible undertaking! After some grant writing and fund raising, Marek got some elementary school students in New Hampshire to draw some comics about life in their town, and then some of the local high school students translated the comics into Spanish. He then took those comics to San Ramón and had the kids down there draw comics about life in THEIR town, which were then brought back to the USA.

95% of this book is about the actual trip down to Central America, and a lot of it was actually drawn during the trip. It is chock-full of Marek's wonderful energy and enthusiasm. This book was so inspiring. It really showed how Comics can bring people together, even when there are language and geographic barriers. Below are some of my favorite pages (reprinted with Marek's permission!) This first page is from the first class that Marek taught in San Ramón.

The second page is from later in the trip, when Marek has his methods figured out a bit more. Watch him work his Comics magic in the classroom!

Marek is actually coming to speak to my Professional Practices class tomorrow (Wednesday, 11/18/09) and afterwards, from 7-9pm he will be doing a reading from the book at The Mainstreet Museum. If you are in the area, please swing by, we are going to play some music, it's going to be super fun! If you are not able to make it to the reading, you should definitely think about buying a copy of the book. It documents a fascinating trip from an extremely creative and hardworking guy!

5 comments on this entry

Be sure to listen to KISS Rock 'n Roll Over. A big influence on Mr. Cuomo!

Kelvin R. Nov17

Thanks for the heads-up on Marek's work. This exchange program is an awesome idea--maybe something that more schools around the states should participate in, even.

Blake Nov18

Thanks so much, Alec! Sorry for making you feel lazy!

AAAANNNNDDDD by the way, you're totally NOT lazy, Mr. Enormous Epic Project Over Many Years!!!!
AAAANNNNDDDD thanks for inviting me to meet your class of up-&-coming sequentalistas!

Marek never stops making comics, never stops teaching, and encouraging other comics artists. I think he has discovered some kind of dimensional time fold where he escapes to get four hours work done in one hours time -- then comes out to make us look bad.

Andy Nov22

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