Hi! My name is Bob Pendarvis and 20 years ago I was asked to create and teach the first comic book illustration classes at the Savannah College of art & Design. They were so successful that I was asked to develop comics-based BFA and MFA degree programs. At Atlanta's Dragon Con, I recruited artist Bo Hampton and writer Mark Kneece to help me found this new major, which I decided to call Sequential Art (as a tribute to the legendary Will Eisner).
During the 18+ years I worked at SCAD, my focus was to concentrate on storytelling, allowing students to write and draw stories using their own unique approaches and styles. I was especially dedicated to making sure my classes were as female-friendly as possible.
My new graphic novel, A GIRL CALLED ANA TEACHES KITTENS HOW TO DRAW, is meant to provide inspiration for the next generation of young sequential artists and storytellers. It is the first in a series of books aimed especially at young girls, but hopefully entertaining for readers of all ages, girls or boys. Each 8.5" x 11", hardcover, full color book has over 200 pages and tells the story of how ANA helps kittens realize that communicating with art is simpler than they'd suspected, yet much more complicated than they'd ever imagined. The goal of my kickstarter project is to be able to produce a high quality, full color hardcover book and send copies to potential publishers and school libraries. My ultimate goal would be to develop the ANA books into an animated tv series.
I asked some of my friends and former students to help me out by donating rewards for my kickstarter project, including my fellow "founding father", MARK KNEECE, DAVID SILVA (NECA), HEIDI ARNHOLD (LEGENDS OF THE DARK CRYSTAL), ROSS CAMPBELL (SHADOWEYES), TRACY YARDLEY (SONIC THE HEDGEHOG), RON CHAN (THE GUILD), BRAD WALKER (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY), ERICA LEIGH CURREY (SEA PRINCESS AZURI), BRIAN HORTON (TOMB RAIDER), TOM FEISTER (GI JOE), DEAN TRIPPE (POWER LUNCH), CHRIS LIE (RETURN TO LABYRINTH), KAT SHEA (ARCHER), CHAD THOMAS (MEGA MAN), MICHAEL PHILLIPPI(BIOWARE), ROB ATKINS (LEGION OF SUPERHEROES), RAMANDA KAMARGA (THE INCREDIBLES), TY ROMSA (KONAMI), MEG GOLDING (DAMN HIPSTERS), KRISTIAN DONALDSON(SUPERMARKET), CASSANDRA WEDEKING (EVIL DIVA), MICHAEL STRIBLING (LEAPFROG), MATTHEW JENKINS (THE VENTURE BROS.), JACEN BURROWS (NEONOMICON), SUPITTHA "ANNIE" BUNYAPEN (SHOJO WONDER MANGA ART SCHOOL: CREATE YOUR OWN COOL CHARACTERS AND COSTUMES WITH MARKERS), ANDREW ROBINSON (DUSTY STAR), and SAM ELLIS (ARCHER).
Their diversity reinforces my basic belief that studying the different disciplines involved with producing sequential art can lead to a wide array of opportunities, including writing and illustrating comic books, designing characters and storyboarding for animated cartoons and video games, creating children's picture books, designing toys and action figures, and more.
Before I taught at SCAD, I used to teach k-5 art classes in the public school system. I learned that too many promising young artists would give up learning how to draw, thanks mostly to non-constructive comments and attitudes displayed by both their fellow students and even some teachers. And schools everywhere continue cutting budgets for art and music programs, wrongly thinking that art is primarily a recreational activity and far from necessary. I strongly disagree and feel that a solid grasp of the fundamentals of sequential art would enhance and support their studies in other areas. A GIRL CALLED ANA TEACHES KITTENS TO DRAW is a sweet little story, but its message is vitally important. Your generous donation to my kickstarter project will help me spread that message not just to kids, but their schools and parents, too.