Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Women’s comic writer talks diversity and inclusion

Comic book writer Cecil Castellucci talks about her book titled, “The Plain Janes”
Cecil+Castellucci%2C+the+comic+book+writer+who+wrote+The+Plane+James+made+hand+expressions+while+she+talked+to+the+attendee+on+March+29+at+11+a.m.+
Samuel Chacko
Cecil Castellucci, the comic book writer who wrote “The Plane James” made hand expressions while she talked to the attendee on March 29 at 11 a.m.

The comic writer for the book, “The Plain Janes,” Cecil Castellucci visited Cerritos College on March 29 to talk to students about the book and the future projects she’s doing.

The author explains that the book’s theme is that the girls were dealing with trauma, which one of the Janes were in a terrorist bombing in the beginning of the book, and used art to cope.

“My basic theme is always finding yourself, finding your true group of people that is going to help you become your best self,” Castellucci said about the main takeaway she wants readers to hear.

“My hope is always that someone can read my books and take one step closer towards the person they want to me.”

The comic writer explains that the artist from New York, Keith Haring, was someone that inspired her because of Haring’s chalk art.

“Every time I would go to the Subway, I would be walking on top of his art,” she pointed out, “I loved it because everyone was on the Subway trying to get to school […] and it really effected me.”

Castellucci is constantly inspired by work into her stories like chain link fence art and points out how art can become a conversation.

“There is a piece of art and then another artists does something on top of it and is able to have a direct conversation with the original piece,” she points out.

Castellucci said that art can be used to shed light of important issues, be creative and being positive to their community.

The English Department Chair, Ja’net Danielo, asks questions during the Q and A segment of the Visiting Writers Series on March 29. (Samuel Chacko)

One example she shows is a memorial for the Battle of the Somme in WWI, to celebrate the 72,000 British soldiers that weren’t found and went to the exhibit.

“They were selling off the tiny bodies [recreated art] and I bought one and said, ‘whoever I get, I will research them and I’m going to make a piece of art on them.'”

However, that will be a full-blown novel she’ll create in the future and explained how art like that can create conversation.

The graphic novel creator said the advice she’d give to anyone is that life can be compared to riding waves.

“Sometimes you might get knocked off the board but you got to get back up on it and kind of learn to surf,” she said, “You’re going to have a great run and you’re going to get knocked and pushed back to the beach, it’s the matter of persevering.”

Ja’net Danielo, the Department chair for English, said the turnout was great and was super satisfying.

“We wanted to give students an opportunity to see a current, living, young adult graphic novel,” Danielo said about why she created the event.

Rachel Pantellion, an English major, said that her creative writing professor convinced her to go to the event and thought the event was interesting.

“She [the speaker] mentioned how important it was to say no to work, having some respect on what you can do and I thought that was interesting,” she said.

“I would like to think yes [Cerritos should continue these events] but also expand too, it was nice that they brought on someone who did graphic novels.”

The only other Women’s History Month event will be on Cities and Social Justice on March 30 at 11 a.m., in the Science building.

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About the Contributor
Samuel Chacko, Editor in Chief
Samuel Chacko is the Editor-in-Chief for Talon marks covering sports, politics, news and opinion. Sam enjoys playing video games, watching sports and music. Samuel is hoping to transfer to Cal State Long Beach in 2023 and work for a prestigious Journalism outlet one day. Contact [email protected] to meet with him and for news tips.
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Women’s comic writer talks diversity and inclusion