Comics have been a part of American culture since the 19th century. As time passed, their popularity continued to grow from the rise of superheroes, to Archie, to Disney’s animal themed comics. This year, Loyola’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures invites all students — no matter their study path or year in school — to participate in a foreign language graphic novel contest, which is being held for the first time.
The theme of the contest is “The best day of my life,” which is left open for interpretation. The novel should be no longer than eight pages and include original artwork.
The text must be written in one of the languages taught at Loyola, which includes Spanish, French, Italian, German, Polish, Hebrew, Russian, Chinese, Arabic and Japanese. All students are welcome to participate in the contest, whether they are enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program. In addition, students do not have to be pursuing a degree in a language to participate — the contest is open to all majors.
Sophomore Kendall Phillips is considering participating in the contest and thinks it’s a great opportunity for students at all stages of learning another language and those who are fluent speakers. Phillips is an environmental science major, but has taken a Chinese class at Loyola and took German throughout high school.
“I think it’s good for people who do speak a second language but also for people who are learning a new language,” Phillips said. “It’s a good opportunity … and I thought it was cool that it’s kind of promoting the [Language Learning Resource Center].”
The contest was spearheaded by Paula Dzieza, director of the Language Learning Resource Center at Loyola. Dzieza is a trained librarian and was inspired to start this contest by contests she’d done at her previous jobs. This is Dzieza’s first semester at Loyola, and she said she’s excited to see what else she can bring to the Loyola language community.
“I can ensure you that every semester I will be doing something fun for our students, so this is only the beginning,” Dzieza said.
All entries should be submitted to the Language Learning Resource Center, and the submission deadline is 4 p.m. April 5. The award ceremony for the contest will be held on April 11 at 2 p.m. in the Damen MPR, where the winners will be announced. The first place winner with receive a $350 Visa gift card and second and third place will receive $250 and $150 Visa gift cards, respectively.