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Paonia Pawns

San Jose Public Library's Graphic Novel Making Contest (2010)

     In the spring of 2010, the San Jose Public Library and Hijinx Comics (San Jose's oldest comic book store) co-sponsored the 3rd annual Graphic Novel Making contest. The rules were simple. Maximum eight pages, black and white art. The co-sponsorship by Hijinx Comics allowed the competition to be expanded from a teen-only to include three categories: kids, teens, adults. Below is my entry.

     The contest presented some challenges. The strip was designed to print at 300 dpi, twice the scale I normally work at. In addition, Paonia Pawns has been in full color right from the start; black and white was new to me. The story was also a challenge, 8 pages is a mere third the length of the shortest story I've written so far.

     I didn't finish in the top three, but I had fun doing the strip which was the point. It was also great fun sitting in a room with so many creative people, many of them accompanied by supportive family members.

     I reduced the art by half to eliminate the need for vertical scrolling.

     While the comic does feature two characters from Paonia Pawns (Lem and Nely), it does not take place in the Paonia Pawns universe. The storyline and the mythology behind it were created specifically for this strip.

Although the strip was black-and-white, I created this color cover specifically for this page.
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™ and © Copyright 2010 Michael J. Ahlers. All Rights Reserved.
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