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Longmont Comic-Book Artist Tackles Gun Violence

Matt Strackbein has contributed to new book

By Lisa Truesdale

Longmont resident and professional comic-book artist Matt Strackbein has contributed to a new book called Where We Live: A Benefit for the Survivors in Las Vegas. The book, available June 5, is a collection of fictional stories and riveting eyewitness accounts illustrated with comics by more than 100 artists, and all proceeds benefit a fund for survivors.

Strackbein, who has also self-published several comic books, says that part of the reason he makes comic books is to provide greater accessibility to topics that are important for him—he recently produced a series of comic stories for the Anti-Defamation League’s anti-bias and bullying-prevention campaigns. He also writes comics for educational purposes, like Pop Culture Classroom’s anthology Colorful Colorado, about the history of the state.

“I believe comics make the world a better place by artistically juxtaposing written ideas with illustrations in order to make them that much more relatable,” Strackbein says. “Students, especially younger kids, are happy to learn about things when they are basically just reading a comic book.”

On the “heavy” topic of gun violence, he adds, “I knew that contributing to this anthology would give me another opportunity to use comics as a bridge. Comics make this particular subject easier to engage with, in terms of finding solutions. The book serves the greater good by helping the survivors of the Las Vegas tragedy.”