Summit County Library and syndicated cartoonist Rick Stromoski ready to host the virtual ‘Let’s Draw Monsters’

Syndicated cartoonist Rick Stromoski and the Summit County Library will host “Let’s Draw Monsters,” a virtual drawing class on Friday.
Courtesy of Rick Stomoski

The Summit County Library and syndicated cartoonist Rick Stromoski plan to get children in the Halloween spirit with the “Let’s Draw Monsters” workshop.

The free Zoom session will start at 4 pm on Friday, Oct. 22, and registration, along with the Zoom link, is now open at the library’s website, said Kirsten Nilsson, Kimball Junction Branch’s youth services librarian.

“Rick will do a drawing class for our elementary school-age patrons,” Nilsson said. “Older kids and their parents are also invited to participate.”

Stromoski, a former president of the National Cartoonists Society, will draw along with the children, while showing them how to create ghosts, vampires, werewolves, goblins and other scary and creepy creatures, according to Nilsson.

No drawing experience is necessary, and all the kids need to participate is paper and drawing utensils, she said.

“Rick is really good at explaining exactly what to draw and how to do it,” Nilsson said. “He explains things in ways and describes things in a way that kids will know what to do. This is totally on their terms, and even little kids can do it, too.”

One of the things Nilsson likes is how Stromoski, a two-time winner of the National Cartoonists Society Greeting Card Award, interacts with the children.

“On Zoom, all the kids’ names are on the screen and the stream is live,” she said. “So he will address the kids by name and ask them to show what they have done. There is a lot of interaction.”

Friday’s Zoom class isn’t the first time Stromoski has hosted a drawing class for the Summit County Library, Nilsson said.

“He did one called ‘Let’s Draw Animals’ in the spring, right before the summer reading started,” she said. “We were trying to do something online because of COVID, and he emailed us about doing an online class. Most authors would show up and talk about his books, but when COVID hit, he had to pivot and decided to do classes.”

Nilsson said she was “drawn” to Stromoski through his work, which has appeared in national magazines, advertising, children’s publications, newspapers and network television.

Stromoski is known for his syndicated comic strips “Mullets” and “Soup to Nutz.”

He is a self-taught artist whose influences include Mad magazine artists Don Martin, Jack Davis, Sergio Aragones, Al Jaffee and Mort Drucker, to name a few, Nilsson said.

“All of his drawings looked really accessible, and they were something I would have wanted to have drawn when I was a kid,” she said. “I actually participated in the class in the spring, and it gave me some insights in drawing cute things.”

While kids will have the opportunity to draw cute monsters and ghouls, they will also get a chance to make them scary during the workshop, Nilsson said.

“Rick likes to tell kids to make the teeth more jagged and add some blood here and there,” she said.

Stromoski’s workshop continues the Summit County Library’s tradition of hosting Halloween-themed events during October, according to Nilsson.

“Since we always do something fun for kids at Halloween, we thought this would be a good thing this year, because as much as we would love to have in-person programming, we’re not ready,” she said.

The online format also gives children who may not otherwise have access to the Summit County Library to participate in a library program, Nilsson said.

“You don’t need a library card to do this,” she said. “We had kids from all over the county sign up for the spring session, and when you think about it, people from around the world can sign up. It’s going to be really fun.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.