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Art and design professor gets a call from ‘Ghostbusters’

January 31, 2014

Erik Evensen, an assistant professor in the School of Art and Design, has illustrated a story in the latest issue of the “Ghostbusters” comic book.

Erik Evensen was a big fan of the 1984 movie "Ghostbusters." Like most people who saw it and heard the soundtrack, he'll never forget the catchy phrase, "Who you gonna' call? Ghostbusters!"

Erik EvensenSo it was a delightful surprise last fall when the opposite situation occurred: "Ghostbusters" called him.

Evensen, an assistant professor in the School of Art and Design at University of Wisconsin-Stout, was asked to help illustrate the latest issue of the "Ghostbusters" comic book, which happens to be coming out on the 30th anniversary of the movie.

The comic, by IDW Publishing, was released Wednesday, Jan. 29, and is available nationwide.

Evensen illustrated one of the ghostbusting stories in the issue, "The Field Trip." The six-page story takes place in a spooky natural history museum not unlike Chicago's Field Museum. The author is veteran "Ghostbusters" writer Erik Burnham, whom Evensen met at a conference a couple of years ago.

Both in their 30s, Evensen and Burnham grew up as "Ghostbusters" fans, Evensen said.

Evensen illustrated "We've had ideas about a couple of projects, and this is the first thing that came to fruition," Evensen said regarding how he came to work with Burnham on the story. "I'm proud to have been able to contribute to the 30th anniversary event."

Evensen hadn't previously worked with Burnham or IDW, one of the nation's largest comics publishers that also has the rights to "G.I. Joe," "Star Trek, "Transformers," "X-Files" and "My Little Pony."

"There's always a little bit of pressure when you're working on a property that's been loved by so many people for such a long time. I've been a lifelong 'Ghostbusters' fan myself, so I understand how tricky this is," he said.

Drawing standard "Ghostbusters" characters in "The Field Trip," Evensen created and colored 24 story panels digitally on a tablet device. Word balloons featuring Burnham's story and lettering were added to complete the story.

Evensen previously has worked with other comics publishers and has published two graphic novels, the award-winning "Gods of Asgard" in 2007 and "The Beast of Wolfe's Bay" in 2013. He has done design work for several major corporations, including Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, General Electric and The National Guard.

At UW-Stout he teaches design drawing and a color studio class.

UW-Stout offers a concentration in comics and sequential art as part of the entertainment design undergraduate program. Students study traditional comic books as well as digital, motion and interactive comics and the graphic novel. To learn more, click here.

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