Sketch, sip and create cartoons

No artistic ability required
Ira Marcks and Alison Bechdel.
Ira Marcks and Alison Bechdel.

SCHENECTADY — Ira Marcks doesn’t put people in boxes, just his creations.

The Capital Region cartoonist teaches both talented artists and doubtful beginners that cartooning is an art form for everybody. 

On Friday, in celebration of “Fun Home,” the Broadway musical that’s coming to Proctors on Oct. 31, Marcks is holding “Fun Home Sketch and Sip.” The session, organized by The Arts Center of the Capital Region, celebrates Alison Bechdel’s cartooning style and will (hopefully) have attendees creating their own. 

Marcks has been cartooning all his life and grew up poring over “Calvin and Hobbes.” He’s drawn for “Weird Tales,” a Hugo Award-winning magazine, written/drawn several of his own books and he’s been featured on PBS’ “A House for Arts.” 

He started teaching cartoon literacy several years ago, working with students in various schools and members of the Arts Center. 

For the Sketch and Sip event, he’ll be guiding people through the creation of a diary comic. Typically, it’s a four-panel strip that zeros in on a section of someone’s life. They can capture a funny moment at a grocery store or they can be poetic and capture raw emotion.

“There’s a lot to do before you get to draw something,” Marcks said. 

In between planning out the panels, attendees can step-up to the cash bar to grab concoctions like “The Bechdel Test” and other “Fun Home” inspired drinks. 

During his time teaching, Marcks has encountered more than a few timid or self-defeating drawers. He warned that many people have the idea that they’ll fail even before trying to draw a cartoon. But cartooning is the perfect medium to try out. 

“Try not to think too technically,” Marcks said. Some cartoonists have a perfectionist, almost architectural drawing styles, and others are very loose and abstract. There’s not a single right or wrong way to cartoon. 

It’s a freeing thought that Marcks hopes will empower more people to try it out and learn to tell their stories in a new way. 

‘Fun Home Sketch and Sip’

WHEN: 6 p.m., Fri. Oct. 13
WHERE: Proctors
NOTE: “Sketch and Sip” is a 21-and-up event

Categories: Art, Entertainment

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