The air crackled with a sense of anticipation as hyped comic book fans gathered for the release of “The Iceberg,” Clark College’s student created comic anthology.
Fans and supporters lingered in awe at the tables in the Gaiser Student Center on May 20, which were decorated with artwork crafted by each artist featured in the anthology.
Tobias Peterson, an English professor and faculty adviser for the Comics Club, introduced the three guest speakers who added their voice to the panel discussion. The speakers included Steve Lieber whose artwork was featured in “Civil War: Frontline,” Diana Schutz a comic book editor with Dark Horse Comics and Jeff Parker whose illustrations were featured in the “X-Men: First Class” comics.
In September 2018, Comics Club President Bryce Van Patten was approached by then club vice president Perth Alacar with the idea of creating and releasing a college comic book anthology, featuring the artwork of Clark students. Alacar originally suggested “The Iceberg” as a title for the anthology.
“[The Iceberg] was born out of seeing many of my fellow comics classmates with unfinished comic work,” Alacar later stated to the Indy. “I saw the potential in that group of artists to collaborate and finally complete a finished product through the form of a student anthology.”
For Van Patten, the release is a huge accomplishment.
“There have only been three other colleges in the country that have produced a college comic book, so that makes us the fourth,” he said.
The students and alumni who contributed to “The Iceberg” each had a table to showcase the other works they have created.
Skip Enge, a 1974 Clark alumnus, created concept art pieces for the Oregon Historical Society museum. At his table, he sold one of his latest creations, “The Ride,” a picture booklet featuring concept art that he drew in less than two hours.
“I like crazy,” Enge said of how he likes to spend his time illustrating artwork.
Another alumnus among the tables was Tyson Palmour, one of the original students to take the comics class when it first started. Since leaving Clark, Palmour has shown his artistic talent by designing skateboard decks and advertisements for the Tonic Lounge in Portland, Oregon.
“My final for the comics class was the ‘Darkest Ocean’ illustrations which are featured in [“The Iceberg”],” Palmour said.
Unfortunately for Palmour, the exciting day did not go according to plan.
“I had a lot more skateboards to show today,” Palmour said. “But my car in the parking lot was broken into and all but two of the boards were stolen.”
Newer club members also submitted works in the anthology. Nemo Moreland, a student who joined the Comics Club in Winter quarter, looked forward to drawing and creating comics alongside others who share her same passion.
Moreland’s pride could be seen in her smile as realized she was now a published artist.
“My favorite moment from today is getting the face-to-face interaction with everyone who has had the chance to see my comic published,” Moreland said.
Clark student Eli Kranz, who has been part of the Comics Club since Spring 2018 showed nothing but smiles throughout the day.
“I’m so excited,” Kranz said. “I’m shaking!”
Kranz is already working on his artwork to submit for next year’s volume.
“I can’t wait to do it again,” he said.
In his spare time, Kranz has been creating a 20-page comic book that he is excited to share one day, he said.
One of the guest speakers, Jeff Parker gave advice to aspiring comic book artists who wanted others to see their creations.
“Just put your stuff out there and someone will find you,” Parker said.
After the large turnout and success of the release party, Van Patten hopes to expand the Comics Club into a permanent ASCC-funded program with paid staff and designers.
There are still extra copies of “The Iceberg” around campus wherever you can find copies of “The Phoenix,” for those who are interested in picking up a copy.
According to Van Patten, the Comics Club spent $6000 on creating “The Iceberg” and the release party. The club also printed 500 copies of “The Iceberg” to give away at the event.
Van Patten still hasn’t fully comprehended the success of the event.
“It hasn’t hit me yet,” he said. “I was so excited, I hardly slept last night.”
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story failed to include the integral contributions of Perth Alacar, the former vice president of the Clark College Comics Club, to the creation and execution of “The Iceberg.” In a statement to the Indy, former club president Bryce Van Patten spoke of Alacar’s involvement with “The Iceberg,” from inception to completion:
“Last summer, our soon to be Vice President Perth Alacar came to me with the idea of the comics club possibly creating a comic book. I said ‘that’s a fantastic idea,'” Van Patten wrote.” The rest of the club loved the idea, so we held a session to come up with the name and voted on several, with Perth’s suggestion of ‘The Iceberg’ winning out.”