Kent State Graduate Student to Make His San Diego Comic Convention Debut

Update: The Kent State University School of Visual Communication Design program prepares its students to take on all kinds of challenges -- even screaming fans at the San Diego Comic-Con International! ‪#‎VCDKent‬ student Chad Lewis (third from left) of Chad Lewis Illustration signs copies of his Marvel x Adobe Students ‪#‎Avengers‬ comic book, unveiled today at Comic-Con, before getting a portfolio review from Marvel editor Tom Brevoort (far right). Get a free digital version here of the comic.

This spring, Adobe collaborated with Marvel to make the first-ever, student-illustrated Avengers comic powered by Creative Cloud. The limited-edition origin story comic will officially debut in July at the San Diego Comic-Con, where the students will get one-on-one portfolio interviews with Marvel pros.

“I went after this opportunity because I’ve always loved Marvel comics, and I use Adobe products every day,” Lewis said. “The chance to make a comic with these two companies is a dream come true.”

Students from around the world submitted their portfolios through Behance, a free, online Adobe platform that showcases creative work — garnering responses from 67 countries.

Chad HeadshotChad Lewis, a graduate student in the School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University, is busy hammering out his version of Thor’s origin story for an upcoming Marvel ‪‎Avengers comic.  

In addition to Lewis, three other students will work with Marvel to illustrate the new comic using Adobe Creative Cloud and its new mobile apps, like Adobe Brush CCAlexandria Huntington, of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco; Hayden Sherman, from the Rhode Island School of Design; and Emil Friis Ernst, from the Animation Workshop in Denmark, were officially selected for the opportunity.  

“I learned about winning while I was grading student work for one of the classes I teach in the Kent State University School of Visual Communication Design,” Lewis said. “When I heard, I called my wife and my family. Then, I hugged my dog.”

Lewis says being able to work on a comic with Adobe and Marvel is a big deal because they lead the industry in their respective fields and are helping to explore the creative process. 

“From Marvel, I’m getting the chance to work with writers and editors who I’ve grown up reading and enjoying,” he said. “From Adobe, I’m getting to work with technical experts who are masters at Adobe’s Creative Cloud and mobile applications.”

And Lewis hasn’t forgotten how he has learned this craft.

“As I create my comic, I’ll be depending on the foundations I’ve learned from the brilliant professors in Kent State’s VCD program,” Lewis said. “The materials I submitted for this contest are ones I’ve created throughout my graduate experience at Kent State, in classes like Character Design and Editorial Illustration. I just hope my involvement in a contest like this helps to spread the word about this amazing program.”

Adobe and Marvel will release sneak peeks of the comic leading up to its debut in July via social media. Follow Adobe Students at and

The School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University is nationally recognized for outstanding quality in design education, with emphases in visual design, illustration and photo-illustration. The school provides a comprehensive professional preparation, the development of conceptual and aesthetic skills, knowledge of design history and tradition as a basis for individual style, and the transformation of theory into practice through professional example and experience. The school is a National Association of Schools of Art and Design-accredited program that is part of the Kent State University College of Communication and Information.