MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE --
A group of teens in the conference room at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Harriotte B. Smith Library were engrossed in the sheet of paper in front of them. Some hesitantly filled in a frame of a body while others did it fluidly creating detailed muscles and the folds of clothes on handsome heroes and dashing heroines for a two-dimensional world.
The Teen Manga Art Class was part of a series of manga classes that have been taught at the library for the last five years. The classes began when the library received a new director who was looking to bring in more teen programs.
“We started talking about manga,” said Jana Guitar, the programs supervisory library technician to the library. “(The director) knew I was an artist so we came up with the idea of doing a manga art class.”
Guitar has taught the popular art class that covered methods of drawing manga, a style of drawing that is based on the art of Japanese comic books, since.
The program’s popularity skyrocketed immediately, mimicking the surge of popularity manga had across the globe.
“We had back-to-back and overflow classes for the first year,” said Guitar. “We could cram 40 (participants) in the conference room and we still had people on standby so we’d have to have another class. It went over very well.”
The most recent class offered a new experience as well as teaching new techniques. While this class was only for ages 12 to 18, other manga classes were held for 7 to 11 year olds and adults.
“We started a class for adults, which was really neat because we had Marines who came in who hadn’t drawn since high school and really enjoyed getting back into it,” said Guitar. “My nephew was a Marine here and he draws and sketches. He said that when he was in Iraq it really helped him pass the time. What we’re trying to do with the different art programs is inspire and help people who love to draw, from children to adults.”
The basics of manga were taught using a method where simple shapes are used as a basis for the images. The class includes materials needed and handouts with additional information on the content.
“I enjoyed the whole class,” said Roberto Fuentes, a participant. “This is my first class and I’m really interested in drawing anime.”
The class is also meant to help teens socialize and make new friends, said Guitar.
“This is a place for kids and teens to meet,” said Guitar. “This is what the programs in the library (are about), from the teen classes to the book clubs and the adult classes. They start interacting with each other and sharing their tips or showing each other what to do and then they make a connection.”
For information on future classes call, 451-3026 or visit mccslejeune.com/libraries.