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Vermont is hub of comics creativity

MONTPELIER Ben Matchstick has fired up young central Vermont comic book artists. His creativity credentials are impeccable. He is a former Bread and Puppet puppeteer and the founder of the Cardboard Teck Instantute, which resourcefully recycles used materials into art projects. On YouTube.com, he plays the harmonica as Phineas Kvikczech and walks robot-rigidly as CardBorgz. He also directed Ana_Mitchells marvelous folk opera Hadestown. Since coming to the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Matchstick has been instrumental in establishing clubs for tweens who love to draw comics. There is now a Dark Knight a.k.a Batman Comics Club for boys and a Supergirls Comics Club for girls. They meet Tuesday afternoons to hone their drawing and writing skills and/or to interact with a special guest artist. In April, the Clubs ferociously battled each other in an Atomic Comic Meltdown, with the girls narrowly eking out victory. On July 15 from 3-5:30 p.m., Burlington comic book author and artist James Kochalka will be at the Library to talk with Club members, and the general public, about his newest book, Johnny Boo: The Best Little Ghost in the World. July 22 brings graphic novel author and illustrator Gareth Hinds to the Library. Especially known for his illustrations of literary classics like Beowulf, King Lear, and The Merchant of Venice, Hinds will be doing a 45-60 minute visual presentation/Q&A about his work, followed by a comics creation workshop. Matchstick is looking forward to the release of The Dark Knight, but he feels that he cant encourage Comics Club members to see the movie because it is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned).

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