For Ryan Claytor, life is illustrated.
Claytor, who teaches comics studio courses at MSU and University of Michigan-Flint, self-published an autobiographical comic book series, “And Then One Day.” He’s been producing the comic since 2004.
“I think it’s interesting to see what other people experience in this world and what they have to say,” Claytor said. “I wanted to share my experience with the world and see if it resonated with anyone.”
Claytor started keeping a daily journal with autobiographical sketches, which slowly evolved into a book, after more people became curious about what he was drawing.
Some of his books involve his personal experiences, while others delve into the objectivity of autobiographical work. For one of his books, he sat his friends down with a box of questions about himself, asking them to respond with their true opinions.
Claytor also serves as the director of the MSU Comics Forum, a yearly event that brings together artists and scholars to celebrate graphic storytelling.
Hunched over his work, Claytor lettered a page in his office. A few MSU Comics Forum posters and a Peanuts characters clock decorate the small space. It’s isolating work, but Claytor said he enjoys it.
“It’s one of the few media where a single artist has complete and total control,” Claytor said. “That’s something that makes it really exciting. I think we’re only starting to scratch the surface of what comics can do.”