At age 11, Emma T Capps came to 826 Valencia for a comic class. She is now applying to colleges, and she has had a big cartooning adventure along the way.
“I’ve been drawing since I could pick up a pencil,” says Emma. After her 826 Valencia class she created a short comic known as Tomorrow. This new interest in cartooning didn’t end, of course! She kept making cartoons and greeting cards. In eighth grade, Scholastic hosted a middle school and high school cartooning contest, where she won a medal for her cartoon called Jam Days.
The Chapel Chronicles, which Emma started at age 14, is a story about Chapel, a young spunky girl with fiery red hair who has intellectual adventures with her hedgehog Rupert, loves hats, and has a brother named Barnaby. (In my opinion she is a bit of a dork, in a good way.) Emma created Chapel one night when she couldn’t go to sleep, and this character somehow intrigued her. She kept on making tiny cartoons and greeting cards with her, and eventually made them into webcomics, which she has made every week for the last four years.
“Growing up I always wanted red hair, so Chapel inherited that,” said Emma. She also says that Chapel is not based on herself — in fact, she says that Chapel can be more immature than she is. “But she definitely would be my friend if she was real.” I understood when she said that all her characters “feel like my children in a way.”
In July 2013, a special comic from The Chapel Chronicles was published in Dark Horse Presents, a major comics anthology — making her the only teenager published by Dark Horse. She has other cartoons on the side that will soon come to the world of books, like Delays Expected, a “short autobiographical romp.” Emma says that she will soon wrap up The Chapel Chronicles and is excited to introduce her new comic books, which she has been writing for years.
Emma now hosts her own comic classes at 826 Valencia and is happy that she can inspire other children’s lives by teaching them how to make comics.
“To spread my love of comics to these kids is really amazing to me, and the idea that this could come full circle and that one of my students could go on to become a cartoonist is pretty powerful.”
I recommend the books and the comic classes to young crusaders who have a love for the nerdy cuteness in life. You can purchase the books on her website, chapelchronicles.com and find out when her next comic classes are at 826valencia.org.