University Park

Graphic novelist shares his creative evolution

Graphic novelist Drew Weing captivated his audience May 23, as he gave a presentation in the University Libraries' Foster Auditorium that also was broadcast to locations throughout the state. The presentation is archived and can be viewed by clicking here and selecting "Set to Sea."

Weing simply stated, "I started by drawing the first panel." What he produced was the Honor Book winner of the first Lynd Ward Prize for Graphic Novel of the Year, a newly created prize that pays tribute to Ward’s seminal influence in the development of the graphic novel and celebrates the gift of an extensive collection of Ward’s wood engravings, original book illustrations and other graphic art donated to Penn State's Libraries by his daughters Robin Ward Savage and Nanda Weedon Ward. For more on the prize, visit online.


Among the audience in Foster Auditorium was Russell Frank's COMM 260W, News Writing and Reporting class. Frank, an associate professor of communications in the journalism department in the College of Communications, said, "Weing's talk was ideal for my students because it was a 'two-fer': They got experience reporting on a live event and they benefited, I hope, from hearing a creative type talk about craft. I particularly loved when Weing talked about how much time he spent studying the world of sailing ships so he could draw them accurately. Moral of the story: If you want to do things the right way you have to put in the work. No shortcuts."

The program was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC), a nonprofit organization, that inspires individuals to enjoy and share a life of learning and by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book (PACFTB), one of 50 affiliates of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, supported by the Penn State University Libraries and sponsored by Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications. Additional support was provided by Pennsylvania’s Office of Commonwealth Libraries.

For more information contact Caroline Wermuth at or 814-863-5472.

In the background, artist Drew Weing signed copies of his book for visitors. In the foreground, an event attendee flips through samples of Weing's work. Credit: Wil Hutton / Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated May 25, 2011