Education

Summer camp students create superhero — with comic book author’s help

Comic book artist and author Jeff Weigel, of Belleville, autographs a copy of his comic “Atomic Ace” for Keowan Salmond, who recently graduated from kindergarten at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Belleville.
Comic book artist and author Jeff Weigel, of Belleville, autographs a copy of his comic “Atomic Ace” for Keowan Salmond, who recently graduated from kindergarten at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Belleville.

A comic book illustrator and author from Belleville recently asked a group of about 20 first- through fourth-graders to imagine their own superhero.

He started with an image of a teen boy on a projection screen. Then, he took suggestions from the children in the room.

They came up with “Scholastic Super Inventor,” a young man whose genius, inventor parents were kidnapped by a villain who planned to force them to use their talents to do his bidding.

The students told Belleville native Jeff Weigel to draw the boy with a tool belt, rocket-powered work boots, X-ray goggles and bulletproof chest armor to help him carry out his mission.

Weigel is the creator of “The Sphinx,” “Atomic Ace,” “Dragon Girl” and “Quantum Mechanics” comics and graphic novels. He was also a special guest during this year’s Camp Lynx Tales summer reading camp at Lindenwood University-Belleville.

During his visit, Weigel talked to the students about his books and described the process of creating new characters before asking them to come up with their own, according to a news release.

For three weeks in June, the camp-goers honed their reading and writing skills.

The Camp Lynx Tales reading camp takes place each summer. Visit lindenwood.edu/belleville for information about next year’s registration. The cost is $80.

This year, students like Keowan Salmond, who recently graduated from kindergarten at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Belleville, left the camp with an autographed copy of Weigel’s “Atomic Ace” and a photograph with the author.

Lexi Cortes: 618-239-2528, @lexicortes

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