“There is an umbrella term to describe what we do in the comics club: ‘sequential art,’” says Fletcher Wiess, head of Bennington’s new student group. “We cover anything from hieroglyphics to massive graphic novels. Anything that falls under that banner is discussed.”
The comics club is back, and with a new agenda. Fletcher Weiss aims to reshape the clubs of years past into what he hopes will be a more interactive, constructive, and educational experience. Weiss’ Plan at Bennington is centered around sequential art, and he intends to incorporate the things he’s learned from Field Work Terms and other coursework into the club’s activities. His most recent Field Work Term was at a cartoon art museum in San Francisco and he has plans to work more with publishers in future years.
“I want to create this space where people can come, share their work, critique work, and talk about comics,” Weiss states. “We have discussions, showcase each other’s work, and talk generally about the medium and the umbrella of comics and what we can do with it.”
Weiss’ love for facilitating projects and printing comics shines through in the club’s agenda. “We are trying to get a student anthology of work and I’m hoping to have it done around a central theme like, say, life in quarantine,” he says. “What we’re gonna do is get one to two pages for each student, put them in a book.” He hopes to use his experience and connections with publishing and printing to make this a reality.
He emphasizes flexibility and open-mindedness. “If you wanna be super weird, if you wanna have crazy alien people, you can do that,” he says. “We will have critiques—if you’ve ever taken a writing course here, it’s going to be like that: you share your work, everybody takes a look at it, and you get feedback.”
All experience levels are welcome to join the comics club. “Even if you’re just like, ‘Oh, I used to read Garfield comics as a kid, and I think it’s cool,’ that’s good. I’m here for that,” he clarifies. “Even if you’re not sure where to begin, just come. It is a very open and welcoming place.”
Meetings take place on Tuesdays, from 7:30 to 8:30 PM. While meetings are now virtual to comply with the college’s COVID-19 guidelines, Weiss intends to reserve a space for club members to meet when it is safe to do so. For more information, contact Fletcher Weiss at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow the club on Instagram @benningtoncomicsclub.