The senior thesis in the illustration department was a really big deal. Close to the mid-semester of the year, the thesis was assigned. The concept of the thesis was that the illustrator had almost all the creative control of the project as follows:
It had to fit into a profitable market.
It had to have something that would contribute to the market and the illustration field as a whole.
It had to have a sense of style and something unique about it.
Ultimately, it had to look like a professional illustration.
And by the end of the year, there was the exhibition as a whole. In 2009, the University of the Arts had one of the largest student bodies in the history of the college, with over fifty students in the class. So there was be two-hundred pieces in total in the exhibition as well as in competition, because only three of them could win a cash and degree prize. In the end, there were four winners in total, a total surprise because usually there were only supposed to be three in previous years of the contest so it was definitely a first. In first place , the talented Jim Teirney illustrated a series of book cover illustrations for Jules Verne, months later actually was published with the covers by Jules Verene and Penguin Books. Second was Kei Tawara, who had illustrated four steam-punk styled fantasy environments that were concept painting for video games, and managed to find a job in video game concept art soon after. The two third place winners, Tara Scolley who made an absolutely adorable children's book series, and then me, the creator of a comic making a bittersweet sattire out of super heroes using a mix style of japanese manga and marvel comics.
NOTES AND BACKGROUND BEHIND THE PROJECT
"The Adventures of PSIMAN and PSIGIRL" was actually a small comic I had made when I was in highschool, with no real differences besides my skill as an artist from then and now, and small changes from the original story to make it more pop oriented. And just like in the past comic series: no one character was based on any fictional person. Ian was a bully I knew when I was in middle school and high school, and we were both lowbrow level artists in our classes. Ian made comics about a superhero about his dog Jaxx, and I was making comics based off my pet hamster Fluffy, so there was some rivalry between that. But he ended up changing. He's a nice guy now. As for Jenny, she was a girl I used to know when I was in grade school with a case of mental retardation, and we were friends. Being a nice guy all I wanted to do was to help her because she was getting bullied too because of her condition. She ended up moving away after a couple of weeks.