The only requirement to join Panels, Millikin’s Graphic Literature Club, is an interest in comic books and graphic novels.
It was formed last year, after a few students decided it wasn’t enough to just talk about graphic narratives in class.
“It started as a result of the class I taught last year, Politics and Propaganda in Superhero Comics,” Dr. Jeff Kirchoff, faculty advisor to Panels, said. “It’s a space for students to get together and talk about graphic narratives, as well as creating them.”
Last semester, the group met on Thursdays at 4:00 p.m. on the fourth floor of Shilling Hall. For this semester, they are looking to have it on Wednesday afternoons; however, the time is not yet finalized.
“Panels [provides] the chance to work with an art form that has combined art and literature in a very beautiful and revolutionary way,” Dave Thomson, junior BFA acting major with a creative writing minor and president of Panels, said.
Thomson enjoys that there is a diverse set of majors among group members, such as graphic design, theater, and communications.
“Panels is a good place to collaborate with other people. [It’s a place] to hear different opinions and ideas about comic books and get other points of view,” Nathan Spees, junior BFA acting major with a creative writing minor and founding member of Panels, said.
In the past, Panels has had a few social events, as well. They had two movie nights (featuring Kick Ass and Kick Ass 2) in order to reach out to other students on campus.
“I grew up really enjoying comic books,” Kirchoff said. “When I pursued graduate study, I made it a part of my research. I also love it as a hobby. . . People think that it’s only about superheroes, but it’s so much more than that. There’s something for everyone.”
“My love for comic books started kind of late in my high school career. It just happened that one day I decided I wanted to buy a comic book,” Thomson said.
Spees said, “[My love] started when I was about ten or eleven, whenever the first Spiderman movie came out. That’s when I started getting into Marvel and the superhero genre. My favorite is Deadpool and anything involving him, so usually X-Men. He’s hilarious; he likes to break the fourth wall and makes jokes.”
Panels is truly open for anyone and everyone. If you are well-versed in all genres, or are just now getting into the superhero comic, there is a place for you.
Kirchoff said, “It’s a very open group. It’s certainly not limited. It’s open for everyone.”