UDAM Teaching Artist; Visual Artist; Writer; Cartoonist/Graphic Novelist
Richard Jenkins is a cartoonist, writer, and master teaching artist. He has been making comics and graphic novels since 1996. Creating stories with unique engaging characters, vivid settings, and strong emotional resonance. His work spans a broad range of genres, including fiction, non-fiction, action, humor, biographical, and horror.
From 1997 to 2006, Richard worked as the co-creator of the cult-classic Sky Ape comic book series, about a cigar-chomping, jetpack-wearing, reluctant-hero gorilla. Illustrating a four-issue comic book series (Sky Ape: Les Aventures,) 1997, and three graphic novels (Sky Ape: Waiting for Crime, 2001; Sky Ape: All the Heroes, 2003; Sky Ape: King of Girls, 2006.) In addition to his longer work on Sky Ape, Richard has also written and illustrated short stories for the Graphic Classics and Inbound anthologies.
Since 1997, Richard has also worked throughout the United States as a teaching artist, engaging students in drawing, cartooning, story making, and painting. His student-centered teaching focuses on building up their creative and cognitive capacities, guiding them through the creative and inquisitive process of making art and stories. In 2000, he began consulting across North America, providing professional development training for educators. Instructing teachers in arts integration, arts inclusion, arts & UDL, and arts-based learning assessment. 2008 marked the release of his first arts integration manual for teachers, Comics in Your Curriculum.
In 2009, for his exemplary work with special needs students, Richard was awarded the VSA Teaching Artist Fellowship from VSA arts International. In 2010 he was a guest teacher at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. And, from 2010 to 2012 he served as a field reporter for the Teaching Artist Journal, writing articles about the teaching artist field.
2012 also marked the beginning of Richard’s partnership with the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington DC. As a Kennedy Center Workshop Leader, he provides professional development training for educators. Teaching them artistic skills and strategies for integrating cartooning, visual art, and story making into their classroom curricula.
Richard lives in Lawrence, KS with his wife, Stephanie, and their two young children. When he’s not changing diapers, he is steadily chipping away at his newest graphic novel entitled Toil. A film-noir inspired murder mystery set in 1933, in the sinister canyons of Utah.