Text and photos: Luis Bellido
On June 1, I had the wonderful opportunity to hold this workshop as part of the Mental Health Art Week in Vaasa, Ostrobothnia Region. Special thanks to Ilmari Walker, organizer at Österbottens kriscenter VALO / Crisis Centre, who invited me to hold this event.
This workshop was about making comics telling the story of a superhero based on our own strengths and passions and then helping others with these powers. We invested half of the time reflecting and discussing, and the other half making the comics. The methodology consisted of making a three-panel comic, using trigger questions to reflect on each panel: on the first one, thinking about the combination of participants’ strengths and passions; one the second one, creating a superhero based on these skills and hobbies; and one the third panel, reflecting on how to use these powers to help other people.
The art of the comics was made using colorful post-its glued to a background paper and a thick cardboard, the idea was that participants could put it in a visible place as a reminder of their superpowers, luckily everyone liked their comics and kept them. The comics stories ranged from a “student who became the teacher” and “”marimekko” who brings peace to the world” till a “Loving woman who makes people warm again”.
It was a small and friendly group of young adults, so we have the chance to have a cozy and personalized atmosphere. The lesson was well appreciated and in the end, we have a roundtable to share participants’ thoughts, they expressed that they have learned, for example, self-reflection and understanding about their-self, how to make a brainstorming and organize their ideas, and how to structure a comic and even practicing accuracy, using pen without erasing. We also made a private Facebook group to have a virtual exhibition.
You can download the main exercise to “discover your superpowers” and make your own superhero comics (here), or get in contact with Luis Bellido via the Comics Centre (firstname.lastname@example.org), if you would like to have a “superhero” comics workshop.