Wanna come play?

“What is Panel One?”

It’s a question I am often asked and I sometimes have difficulty answering because it’s a big, many-layered answer. The mission statement response you can find on the site “To celebrate and promote the comics creators of Calgary and surrounding area” is a true and accurate declaration of our intent, sure, but it’s more than that. It’s about creating community. It’s about creating opportunities and facilitating connections. It’s about us helping each other succeed, learn and grow. Sometimes it’s as simple as us getting together to have some drinks, laughs and some good conversation.

The thing is, Panel One can be whatever we want it to be. The possibilities are inspiring and exciting and we have some big plans on the to-do list. We want to turn heads and have people notice the incredible talent of creators here in Calgary – and surrounding area, of course 🙂

Alongside all the potential, there is a need for people energy to see it through, so come on in! Your involvement can be as simple as retweeting our tweets or telling someone about the website over coffee. Any effort, no matter how minimal it may seem, is hugely appreciated. You’re helping! Thank you! When we all do a little, nothing seems like too much and nothing is impossible.

Take our business cards, for example. They are the result of a combined effort. Steven Charles Rosia designed the logo (an option available to all of you, just so you know*) and Aaron Navrady designed the card. We got 250 printed and they will be available for everyone to grab some at the next drink and draw. The next round of cards will be designed by another combination of members, as will the next round and so on.

There’s really nothing to becoming a “member” – you just need to be a comics creator in Calgary or surrounding area and you need set up a free Creator Profile on the website – and to do that, all you need to do is send an email to info@panelone.ca and let us know you’re interested. We’ll guide you from there. Easy peasy, yeah? Even though we are an open and inclusive group, in that you don’t have to be a “member” to bring your sketchbook or notebook and join us at a drink and draw, we are working on some exciting partnerships for members, so why not?

Panel One was born from this conversation – We Talk Comics Creator Summit 3: Sticking Together – and since then, we have set up the Twitter account @panel_one, we have set up the website, we held a Thursday night promotion at Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo featuring the work and contributions of local creators and friends of Panel One, we held a hugely successful fundraiser for Alpha Comics and we’ve organized 7 meet & greet, drink & draw style gatherings. We watch social media and share your stories with a growing group of interested folks – fellow creators, patrons, retail and media friends. We have also connected creators with events like Geek Girls Night Out and Lethbridge Expo and there’s so much more we can – and will – do.

So send that email! Join us and help us to help you, which helps everyone – diggit? 🙂

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*Our logo is fluid. We will not lock it down to one artistic style – why would we, when a huge part of our mission is to celebrate and promote the varying work of all our members? It consists, very simply, of a comics panel and the number 1. As a member, you can feel free to create your own Panel One logo! For example, when you add a sidebar to your website proudly proclaiming that you are a member, or when you make us a sign for our drink and draw events, for the buttons you feel like making to help promote Panel One, or when you create one to share among members. Have fun with it!

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