Quad Cities Campus

Creative Ventures Bloom from WIU Design Student

June 29, 2016

Rachel Farber

When Rachel Farber started studying graphic communication at Western Illinois University, she felt she might lose her passion for drawing by studying design so intensely. To erase this concern, in July, 2014 Rachel started writing and drawing her own comic series, titled Duplexium, which she still writes today. Duplexium updates every Monday morning, and Rachel’s proud she’s never missed an update!

“I really write Duplexium for myself, just because I want to keep practicing drawing and story development, but I’ve been surprised to find that there are other people out there who look forward to reading my comic every week,” Rachel explained. Rachel says according to statistics on Tapastic, where she publishes her comic, she currently has 130 subscribers and every Monday she can count on one fan to post a comment, and a few others to give each page a “like”.

“I might have given up on my comic if I hadn’t gotten encouragement from friends and staff at WIU. Several of my professors saw my commitment to Duplexium, since I’d try to relate design projects to promoting the comic, and encouraged me to spread the word as far as I could.” Rachel says one professor in particular, WIU art professor Bruce Walters, even suggested a campaign to set up a Patreon account to try to turn a profit from her comic. Rachel didn’t follow through because that’s not what writing Duplexium is about. “I just want to create a story and a world that compels others to have strong feelings for the characters – one way or another.”

In addition to her comic, Rachel graduated from the Graphic Communication program last spring with a Graphic Design minor, summa cum laude. She hasn’t strayed far from WIU; she spent her summer as a marketing intern for WIU-Quad Cities. “I really love WIU, and I’m enjoying the chance to do design work that will be used to help encourage others to become Leathernecks!”

Rachel said she plans to continue writing her comic, even as she continues to work full time. “I love drawing the characters and writing their story. I can’t stop now!” You can read Duplexium online for free at https://tapastic.com/episode/55678.

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