The Art of Storytelling: Megan James

Megan James’ first encounter with Communication Arts was at the VCUarts Pre-College Summer Intensive in high school. From that point forward, she was determined to join the program. “Communication Arts is essentially the storytelling major,” she says, “everything we do is narrative based. I knew that I had stories to tell through my work, so it was a natural fit.”

Since becoming a Communication Arts major, James has become a master of the sequential arts. Her flagship comic series Innsmouth, “a horror-comedy Lovecraft parody about a bunch of door-to- door doomsday cultists trying to end the world,” has had three full-color issues published through Sink/Swim Press. The extensive storyboarding, design work and preliminary sketches she’s invested into the production of the series testifies to the incredible dedication this rising cartoonist has to her craft.

As an undergraduate, this year’s Communication Arts Senior Expo was James’ stand-out moment at VCUarts. While the annual Senior Art Show is traditionally a small, curated affair, this year James and her fellow Communication Arts students organized a booth-based event more commonly seen at a comic convention. The Expo tasked each senior with managing their own tables to sell or present their artwork. “It turned out to be a spectacular success and more applicable to the kind of work that the department does,” says James. In May, Seniors at the Expo lined The Depot with tables where they could engage with passing artists and designers, exchange ideas, and sell prints, posters, comics and books. “It was awesome to see everyone showing the work they were most proud of,” she says, “and also to see the community show up in such large numbers to support us. Hopefully it’s an event that can be replicated for years to come.”

After graduation, James is looking forward to publishing the last two issues of Innsmouth, set to wrap up the story. She’ll also be showing her work at some of this fall’s conventions, including the Small Press Expo (SPX) and the Massachusetts Indie Comic Expo (MICE). It seems that James’ own story is just beginning.

Keep up with Megan James at her website

Feature image courtesy of VCUarts.


May 12, 2017