“Shanda and David Share Their Creative Journey” on the Kids Comics Unite! Blog

Longtime KCU members share insights, including how they broke into children’s book and graphic novel publishing

Founded by Janna Morishima with a group of comics creators and other professional friends as a virtual meet up during the COVID 19 Lockdown, Kids Comics Unite is a vibrant community of children’s graphic novel creators and other industry professionals. We share tips, stories, and ideas and help each other move forward in our careers. And sometimes we even meet up in person again!

I tend to lean on comics elements like panels and speech balloons in my picture books already, so the art form makes sense to me and GNs were/are really growing in popularity. When I found KCI in 2020, I saw it as a sign to give it a serious go–for art and for business!

Shanda McCloskey, Artist and Writer

Through Kids Comics Intensive and Kids Comics Studio, I found my people. Together we walked the walk in the craft and business of storytelling. We are safe to learn — even to learn what we do not know that we do not know, a gift.

Tactically, important takeaways have been new ways to hone my story pitches and step outside my comfort zone to redesign my strategy my online audience engagement.

In the end, I think what attracted me in the first place – connection to a community – remains the most valuable. It’s not just hanging with your homeys, as much as it is accountability to yourself, your craft, each other. To people you care about and respect, you say you are going to share your pitch, or your plot, or your pages, and you do it. And since stories are nothing more than designs for living, this engagement has touched my entire life.

David Quinn, Writer and Producer

Every creative person has their own story. In this article, Shanda and I answer questions about our stories. Where we come from, where we are going, what are the little tricks and secrets and mindsets we have found to help us do our best work.

There are two rules of Kids Comics Unite. You must be 18 years or older. And you must believe that books for children make the world a better place to live.

It’s free, and if you put your energy into it, I think you will get it back, multiplied. Give it a try.

(I share the invitation link here for anyone intrigued — if you join, I also score ambassadorial bragging rights around the KCU Bullpen.)

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