Former Lantern editor, cartoonist enjoys comic career

Avery Miller-Dakota, Staff Reporter

Many former RHS students who once served as newspaper staff members use the journalism skills they acquired from Lantern to become successful adults.

Cartoonist and comic enthusiast Jack Ciolli began his cartoonist career in a sophomore classroom where he doodled every day, subconsciously hoping to be discovered. His peers and educators did not let his talent go unnoticed. Ciolli soon received his first shot at drawing for publication when Lantern adviser Alan Silvidi observed this upcoming artist frantically scribbling elaborate shapes. Soon after, Silvidi persuaded this young man to become a cover artist and reporter for Lantern. He ended up spending both his junior and senior years as an editor and cartoonist for Lantern, where he got the opportunity to learn a great deal about writing and drawing for publciation.

Immediately following graduation from Revere High School, Ciolli attended Savannah College of Art and Design receiving a degree in Sequential Art. He then began work on an original comic book: Atlas. Ciolli details the plot line and character analysis of Atlas.

“It tells the story of a group of super-powered individuals working as a special ops team in a future where a large portion of the population has super powers,” Ciolli said.

Although the process seems strenuous, Ciolli is not alone. Freelance fantasy illustrator Lon Nowak and fantasy variety writer Liz Lundblade teamed up with Ciolli in 2013 to make Atlas a possibility. Nowak shared his reasoning behind joining the Atlas team.

“I love the freedom to tell the stories that I want to tell, and there is a powerful rush associated with people telling me they enjoyed something I created,” Nowak said.

Ciolli works with a team of comic enthusiasts to write, draw and release this storytelling medium. He expanded upon the approach he and his team take to meet deadlines and polish for publication.

“It all starts with a script from [Nowak. We] go back and forth on several drafts, then I start working on page layouts. That’s where I figure out what goes in each panel… [and] how the panels are arranged. Once I’ve thumb nailed layouts for the whole issue I’ll start penciling. [Then] I start inking, where I go over my lines with black ink to make everything sharp and crisp. I [then] scan the artwork and send it off to [Lundblade]. She colors the pages with Photoshop. And voila, finished comic,” Ciolli said.

Both Nowak and Ciolli began their creative career at a young age. While Ciolli was discovering the ropes of cartooning, Nowak was preoccupied getting a head start on his English career by enhancing his critical writing and reading skills. Nowak elaborated upon his start in the English industry.

“I’ve been writing stories since a very young age and it just stuck around. I played with the idea of other professions in my head because the money looked good, but writing was the only thing that held my interest and allowed me all the freedom I really wanted,” Nowak said.

According to sophomore Gina Ciolli, Jack Ciolli’s sister, the amount of effort and passion Ciolli puts into every line he scribes is extensive.

“Ever since I can remember [Ciolli] has obviously been destined to draw. He is a superhero fanatic and loves to draw. I am not surprised he combined his two passions to become a cartoonist. I can not imagine him doing anything else,” Gina said.

Ciolli doodles for the upcoming Atlas issue.
Ciolli doodles for the upcoming Atlas issue.

Avery Ciolli Drawing 1

Ciolli will travel to Portland at the end of the month where he will polish and perfect Atlas #4, the latest issue of Atlas. Ciolli will continue to provide this creative approach to art by transporting readers to a heightened world of heros and villians. The success of prior Lantern staff members such as Ciolli gives pride to the Revere High School student newspaper. Atlas can be read for free at atlascomic.com.