Pre-Socratic Philosophers by Marek Bennett

Pre-Socratic Philosophers by Marek Bennett

These are some adorable, educational minis from Marek Bennett. Marek is not only a working cartoonist but also a comics teacher. These little comics are both a testament to his cartooning skill and to the potency of the medium for which he advocates.

In each comic Bennett relates a brief, playful biography of a Greek philosopher. The format of these minis is one that I’ve seen referred to as “foldy comics” in which the entire comic is drawn on one side of a single sheet of paper, which can then be folded to form an 8-page booklet.

The minicomic, unfolded

The booklet can then be completely unfolded to reveal additional art on the other side of the page.

The backside

This format proclaims, “Anyone can publish their own comics.” You don’t even need a stapler. It’s a strong message beyond the marks on the paper, in line with Bennett’s overall approach toward artist empowerment.

Bennett has mentioned Ed Emberley as an influence and this work honors Emberley’s legacy of simple, fun, effective drawing. The ancient anecdotes are a pleasure to ingest. Educational comics sometimes bog down in tedious, literal depiction but Bennett elegantly hops over those pitfalls.

Beyond books and workshops, Bennett also maintains a lively Patreon frequently updated with behind-the-scenes and how-to posts. I enjoy it a whole lot even in my bitter, old cartoonist form, but as a budding, young cartoonist it would have felt absolutely crucial.

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