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CHAMBERLAIN — “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes,” comic book artist and writer Dylan Jacobson said during his week-long class at St. Joseph’s Indian School. “We turn our mistakes into masterpieces.”

It was a sentiment that echoed the art classes at St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain. Jacobson visited the week of October 17, advising students in grades four through seven on what it takes to become a comic book writer and artist.

Jacobson, best known for his 2016 comic book series Championshas worked alongside educators in South Dakota and Nebraska as a teaching artist with the art councils of both states.

St Joseph’s students let their imaginations run wild as Jacobson guided them through creative exercises in their art class, meeting two to three times during the week.

Jacobson started with a single concept for students to “step into a comic book character’s headspace.” He told them to write a story, with the model, “I am an adjective noun that verbs, and my name is empty.” From there, he asked the students to fill in the blanks. How is the character – funny, fierce, strong, angry? He asked what their character would look like and what does the character do?

Then the drawing began. Some students created entirely new characters, while others focused on old favorites like SpongeBob SquarePants.

Jacobson also let the students in on a few trade secrets during his visit.

“All comic book characters are made of simple shapes,” the artist explained. Jacobson showed that with a drawing technique, characters can be drawn repeatedly in flexible yet recognizable ways. He even demonstrated the creation of Mickey Mouse, which surprisingly started with just three circles.

The work completed by the students will be published in book form and available at the St. Joseph’s Indian School Library.