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Columbus comic book artist Max Ink takes art from page to gallery

Courtesy of Robert Walker

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With dynamic action and bright color, the art of comic books often seems constrained by the standard page size. So John Guevin, who writes under the pseudonym Max Ink, is blowing his art up on a massive scale.

The original pages from his recent work, “Wonka Wonka Kochalka,” are on display at Wild Goose Creative. The creator will accompany his work in person, inviting anyone to come and chat from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday.

Guevin said the exhibit will feature 40 feet of comic book art from the first chapter of his story, “So It Goes.”

“Rather than sitting down and curling up on the couch and reading a comic book, you can stand and read it on a gallery wall,”

Guevin said with a laugh. “It allows for a community experience compared to reading it as a book and it is a very individual experience.”

Seeing a person engaged with the visuals of his creations is something that motivates the artist to keep production flowing.

“My typical experience in reading a comic is a very personable thing,” Guevin said. “There are times I will give someone a comic or they will buy it and I see them reading my work and I get a little charge out of seeing them respond in ways that I intend for them to respond on specific pages. Each page takes me upwards of 10 hours to create, so it’s a pretty labor-intensive thing, and I put a lot of thought and effort into what I do, why I do it, what it is that I’m hoping the reader will get as they read the page.”

This response is what drives the artist to keep going. But Guevin, who also works part-time at UPS Inc., said he found it difficult to cite a specific reason for his comic book preference.

“I’ve been doing it since I was 10 years old, so it’s a natural thing for me,” Guevin said. “It’s like asking a filmmaker, ‘Why do you make films rather than take photographs?’ or asking somebody who writes screenplays, ‘Why don’t you write novels?’ I mean, it’s a really awesome art form and there’s so much potential for it.”

Jessie Boettcher, a Wild Goose Creative board member, said getting to know the artist throughout this whole process has been beneficial to their program as a whole.

“One of our main goals is to get audiences, specifically new audiences, introduced to new artists’ work and to artists themselves,” Boettcher said. “Anyone who is interested in stories would get a lot out of this exhibit because it’s the entire beginning of a story being told in detail along the wall.”

Boettcher said you don’t necessarily have to be a comic book fan in order to appreciate the exhibit.

“Anyone who is interested in the creative process would be interested in coming to this, whether they are into comic books or not, because you will get to see both the original drawings and the polished, finished digital version,” Boettcher said. “Plus you will get a chance to hear from Max (Guevin) about his process, about what it took for him to get from beginning to end.”

His friend and director of communications for the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State, Melissa Weber, said it is easy to see how much Guevin loves what he does.

“He invests a lot of time in it,” Weber said. “I mean, he also has a full-time job, so the fact that he can produce these comic books on a regular basis means that he gives up a lot of free time to do other things.”

The author is also scheduled to hold a book release party of the featured work March 30, also at Wild Goose Creative, located at 2491 Summit St. The event will start at 7 p.m. with live music beginning at 9 p.m.

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