The 4th grade Savannah Christian student is one of the city’s stellar students. Photography by Katie McGee. Written by Sarah Taylor Asquith.
Mr. Mighty Man and the Deadly Disaster of the Dastardly Dr. Ding Dong is eight chapters and 53 pages long. “But it will probably be 54 pages,” says Jimmy Kelley, as he flips through a stack of his comics, always done in a mechanical pencil. “Actually, I keep writing and writing so I don’t know when it will end.”
Jimmy, who’s 10, is quite the prolific illustrator and scribe. Everywhere he goes, his clipboard of comics-in-progress is in tow, and he often spends a good couple of hours working on them daily (he has a drafting table, but prefers to sit on his bed). When asked how he comes up with his ideas, the answer is simple: “It’s all in my brain. I always take a vitamin of imagination every day.”
That said, it makes perfect sense that Mr. Mighty Man is a “giant meatloaf mutant.” Jimmy recently completed another comic book, this one entitled Survivor Jenkins in Sailing On, featuring characters with names like Green-back Gorilla, Buzzcut and Chief Wanna-tango.
Jimmy’s budding career began at age four, when he’d go to his grandparents’ house after school and draw superhero after superhero with colored pencils. He’s taken several comic book classes at Scribble Art Studio, where he often worked with Rashad Doucet, a sequential art professor at SCAD.
Jimmy says he’s inspired by classic characters and TV shows—he asked for (and received) the original Batman series for his tenth birthday, and his favorite comic is Sad Sack Sarge, a story that was first printed in the Fifties and features “this guy in the army who’s always getting himself in trouble,” Jimmy explains. “I think older comics are funnier than the new ones.”
As for his future, it seems silly to ask a fourth grader where he wants to go to college, and it seems even sillier when you get the answer: “Well, let’s see. I’m 10 years old now, so I’ve got 8 years to go before I have to decide.” —Sarah Taylor Asquith
Role model: “I don’t think I really have one. I mostly just want to draw all the time.”
When I grow up, I want to be … “someone who writes and draws a bunch of comic books and other books.”