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Portrait of Ramon Gil

Adjunct Instructor

Ramon Gil

  • Center for Continuing and Professional Studies
  • Comics

The Whiz Kids from DARPA

They fight fires with Rock’n’Roll, capture spy satellites with a minivan and communicate with animals using pee, yes Pee. Written for middle school readers from 9 to 14 years old, The Whiz Kids from DARPA is a graphic novel that shows the first 10 stories of a group of young teens who go on funny missions and adventures using Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to save the day. The group is also an example of diversity, comprised of an Asian American physicist on the Autism spectrum, a transgender computer hacker, a Hawaiian born African American weapons engineer, a Latinx linguist and former spy and a biologist who also happens to be a talking bear.

Cover of The Whiz Kids from DARPA

How did you first come up with the idea for this work?
This was originally my visual thesis during my MFA in Illustration program at FIT.

What was your research process like?
I had been observing trends in the comics and graphic novel industry for years.

How long did you work on this before it was published?
2 years.

Does this work relate to your role at FIT? If so, how?
I teach comics.

What was your biggest challenge? What was most rewarding?
Trying to relearn drawing digitally. I find coloring the art the most enjoyable.

Is there other information we should know?
I used to organize Diversity Comic Con at FIT.

Have you published any other books or have any upcoming publications?
Everybody Needs a Hero from Benchmark Education and Truer Than Trousedale from University of Southern California.

  • Started teaching at FIT in 2017
  • Book published in November 2023