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Little Maia comic book launch at Art Lab

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Artist and illustrator Robert Geronimo has built up a real following with his beautiful illustrations that appear in the Little Maia comic book series. Today the Staten Island native artist and illustrator Robert Geronimo launched a new book called “Little Maia and the Coral City” at Art Lab, the art school located on the sprawling Staten Island campus of Snug Harbor. What's more Mr. Geronimo teaches comic book art at Art Lab to interested art students with big dreams and lots of ideas. It is not too late to sign up for Mr. Geronimo's classes at Art Lab this summer!

“Every one, every one I saw liked it,” he recalled to The Staten Island Advance a few months ago “ but insisted that I make one change: Turn the heroine into a hero.” This is one change the artist could not make. He told a group of interested art students at Brooklyn College last spring that he believes in strong female characters. I attended the art discussion at Brooklyn College last spring about jobs in art and was impressed with Robert Geronimo's big dreams and artistic vision. He lends credence to the belief that you can make your dreams come true, no matter how big, with big talent. Isn't that what creativity and artistic expression is all about? For more on the feature story about Geronimo last January visit http://www.silive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2014/01/girl_power_in_a_picture_book.html

Even today, publishers often prefer boys as lead characters, despite the indubitable profits of pink enterprises like “The Little Mermaid,” added The Staten Island Advance in the feature article. Yesterday (June 28) Robert Geronimo made his big dream a reality with a book launch party at Art Lab for invited guests and an event open to all art enthusiasts, just as the art school has always opened its doors to new talent with big ideas and even bigger vision.

"But the 27-year-old New Springville resident wasn’t budging. Having a small girl as the principal character is the heart of the enterprise. Trans-gendering her, even with publication as the reward, wasn’t happening," added The Advance in the interview with Mr. Geronimo.

What is the coral city?

"As “Maia” begins, there’s been a terrible storm. When she wakes up, she’s in a nearly unimaginable place. In the storm surge, her house has been swallowed by a huge fish. But inside the fish, there’s a whole town, Coral City. The inhabitants are Fish People, but they are surprisingly human, Maya discovers. She makes a friend, Walter, a tall greenish Coral City resident who sports French cuffs and a pin-striped suit," reported The Advance.

Geronimo holds a master’s degree in art history and he studied drawing in Florence. He has included a few elegant references in his “Maia” drawings to his experiences abroad, according to The Staten Island Advance. "In one street scene, sharp-eyed readers will notice a pair of figures based on parkgoers immortalized in Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte.”

The artist draws from his experiences as a resident of Staten Island and a veteran of Hurricane Sandy a few years back. Adds the artist in his own words: “When the hit storm struck, the story took on a whole new meaning,” the artist said to the newspaper.

“The idea,” said Geronimo, “is to empower young girls, to show them how they can be strong and independent," according to the artist in the Advance.

To get a look at some of Mr.Geronimo’s drawings and his Kickstarter options, visit http://www.kickstarter.com. Staten Island would-be comic artists why not indulge in a class at Art Lab and learn just how your artistic dreams can come true with true vision and creativity? For a schedule of summer Art Lab classes visit http://www.artlab.info. There is no time like summer vacation to step out and imagine your dreams. Come on little girls and boys looking for big adventure, come to Robert Geronimo's classes on comic book art and discover what true artistry and storytelling through comic art is all about!

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