Written by STEVE OSTERMANN
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 18:21
Grafton High student’s comical comic-art look at teen heartbreak catches eye of national judges
When Izzy Teich decided to pen a graphic novel for an art-class project last fall, she thought teenage heartbreak might be a good topic.
Little did the Grafton High School sophomore know her “Modern Romance” creation would catch the eye of judges in the annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards contest.
Not only did Teich’s eight-page, comic-book-styled work receive a gold medal at state competition in February, it earned a silver medal at the national level. The latter award puts her in an elite group, with less than 1% of more than 300,000 entries in this year’s competition chosen for national honors.
Only gold medalists among students in grades 7 through 12 in state contests are eligible for recognition by a national committee.
“I was very surprised. I am really honored by this,” said Teich, who became only the second Grafton High art student to receive a national medal in the Scholastic competition.
Marcia Gorra-Patek, Teich’s art teacher, said she is equally excited by the award.
“So few students get this. I’m thrilled,” she said.
The author, her parents (Lisa and Joseph Teich) and Gorra-Patek have been invited to New York City for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards ceremony June 11. Recipients will be honored at Carnegie Hall.
Despite its stark artwork — hand-drawn with Sharpie ink on white paper — “Modern Romance” is hardly a dramatic fare. Instead, Teich’s sketches spin a humorous, often-true-to-life tale of a needy girl attracted to a self-absorbed boy.
Within hours of their first encounter, the girl realizes she can do better and finds another love interest. And one day later, the jilted boy rationalizes his shortcoming by concluding, “I love myself! I don’t need a girl!”
Teich said the story isn’t based on a real-life experience of her own or a friend, but it undoubtedly resonates with many teens.
“I thought it would be funny. It makes fun of high school relation-ships,” she said.
Just to cover all bases, Teich ends the novel with a comical disclaimer:
“Izzy Teich’s work is not based on true events. She does not use boys that she knows in her novels.”
Image information: GRAFTON HIGH SCHOOL sophomore Izzy Teich was awarded a silver medal at the national level in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards contest for her graphic
novel “Modern Romance.” Photo courtesy of Marcia Gorra-Patek