Comics artist addresses social, political, cultural issues

By DAVID RAMIREZ

Comics writer and artist Sarah Welch hasn’t always been into writing comic books, but she has been into art her whole life. She has a contemporary art background and uses comics as a source of inspiration.

Welch, whose work is on display at the “No Restraint: Activist Zines and Comics” exhibit in the H Gallery through May 16, spoke about her work during a lecture on April 23.

Although Grant has multiple vision disorders, she is able to express her point of view on a variety of cultural issues through her writing and comic illustrations. Often her work takes on an activist tone.

“One thing that is a common complaint is there is a big gender disparity in comics and comic publishing, even in alternative press publication,” she said. “So, that’s definitely something that I dislike in the comic world. I think everybody is prepared to see a wider range of voices in comics and people that aren’t coming from a standard Marvel-type background.

“I feel like I’m part of a shift that is happening, and it’s only a matter a time.”

Welch writes autobiographical comics and uses the lives of her friends in her stories. She likes using the classic line work art drawing style, which is a technique used by various artists.

“I work at home. I have a Tony Little office set up, but it’s still functional. I do all the drawing and inking bit by hand,” she said. “I do my color on my tablet or on the computer. I just enjoy keeping it balanced between hard-hand drawing and digital.”

Art professor Josh Rose, who is curating the display along with Gallery Director Iris Bechtol,  said he admires Welch’s work.

“She does predominantly illustrations for newspapers and magazines,” he said. “She always combines an artist’s hand-picking techniques and abstraction into her work along with various patterns. Her work is lovely, and it bridges a gap into what is a mass production on zines as we think of them.”

Welch, who is also working on a website, eworcharas.tumblr.com, said comics have always been difficult to define.

“I think that the definition that Scott McCloud has in his book [“Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art”] is pretty solid when it comes to defining what is a comic,” Welch said. “Art is what you want it to be.”

COMIC EXHIBIT
Students can see Sarah Welch’s “No Restraint: Activist Zines and Comics” exhibit from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through May 16 in the H Gallery.

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