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Image Courtesy of Fernando Ruiz

January 12, 2005

Written by Donna Poler

Fernando Ruiz, of Archie Comics fame, will kick off the first
NJ Creatives Network meeting of the New Year

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December 29, 2004 – Paramus, NJ – Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead are names familiar to many from childhood days spent reading Archie Comics. Since 1994, freelance illustrator and cartoonist Fernando Ruiz has been bringing those characters to life, illustrating them for Archie Comics. If you have ever wanted to know what it is like to earn a living as a successful cartoonist or how comic books are made, Ruiz will share his artistic insights and “comic book tale” at the January 12, 2005 meeting of the NJ Creatives Network meeting. The insights he shares about his life as a creative professional are relevant for all those engaged in creative and artistic enterprises.

The meeting will be held in Paramus, NJ, at the Bergen Museum of Art and Science, located on the lower level of the Bergen Mall. Networking begins at 7:30 p.m. and the meeting and program begin at 8 p.m. The meeting is free for members, $10 for non-members and $5 for students who show proper identification. Refreshments are available during the networking portion of the meeting.

Ruiz will explain how a comic book is put together and briefly describe each step of what he calls the “assembly line” process. “This will increase the audience’s understanding of my duties as a comic book penciller,” he explains. Then he will discuss his educational background, how he broke into the cartooning field and what efforts are involved in maintaining a successful career in that industry. He will also talk about his career as an art instructor and field questions from the audience following his talk.

At Caldwell College in Caldwell, NJ, Ruiz majored in fine art with a concentration in painting. After graduating there with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1991, Ruiz enrolled in the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, graduating there in 1994. During his third and final year at the Kubert School, Ruiz began work as a freelance illustrator for Archie Comics and has been working regularly for that company since that time.

His work appears in the various Archie Comics publications, and at one time or another, he has illustrated almost all of their characters, including Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica. In addition to these characters, Ruiz has also worked on “Sabrina the Teen Age Witch,” “Josie and the Pussycats,” and “Felix the Cat.” Since 1995, Ruiz has also been an art instructor at the Kubert School.

Ruiz’s discussion will be followed by a question and answer session. He will also bring his portfolio for viewing and may even draw a cartoon or two for the audience. “All artists, as well as instructors, are the sum of their work and experience,” explains Ruiz. “This means that everyone in our field has something unique to contribute to our field as a whole. After all, no two artists have the same exact experiences. As a professional and instructor, I find this to be one of the most interesting and rewarding aspects of interacting with students, audiences, and other artists and instructors.”

Begun in 1984 by three freelance professionals, NJ Creatives Network, formerly known as S.W.A.N., has grown into a successful non-profit organization that boasts a diverse membership of talented professionals. Members include writers, designers of print and web media, illustrators, photographers, video producers, public relations specialists and other creative professionals. For more information on the current meeting, please contact NJ Creatives President Stan Cohen at 201-384-9784 or visit the Meeting Section of the website. To find out more about joining NJ Creatives, please contact Membership Director George Kamper at 973-394-9974 or visit the Membership Section of the website.

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