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Andrea Godoy

From AC to Paradise City

in Feature by
Image Courtesy of Tanner Willis
May 3, 2012 By ANDREA GODOY | Ranger Web Editor The night is dark, and the inhabitants all around Paradise City keep quiet against the strict marshal law of Friedrich Koenig-Herr. With near fanatical devotion, Koenig has cowed the people, and those he cannot intimidate, he simply disposes of. Johnny, an up-and-coming musician, rebels at the power Koenig has over the city. His music is his salvation and his downfall. But all Johnny knows changes when one mad man sets in motion the change that will bring the city’s salvation: Volt. Shaolin Shadow comics is not a household name. Its heroes don’t have multimillion-dollar movies in production with the biggest stars in Hollywood portraying their fictional lives. That hasn’t stopped its CEO and founder, Tanner Willis, from getting his heroes out there. “When I am not at work, I am in my office working on my comic or on design stuff,” Willis said. The main office for Shaolin Shadow comics is modest. Willis has converted a corner of his bedroom closet into a work space. From there he plans story arcs, battles, plots and backstory for his six superheroes. Willis, a 2011 Amarillo College graduate, said Shaolin Shadows began as a costume idea. “I was in Chris Perez’s Intro to Graphic Design class my last semester at AC and he gave us this sketch to recreate in Illustrator, and I thought, “Hey, this would make an awesome costume,” he said. The idea grew until it became his first superhero, Volt. Willis and his illustration team each work on one character. “I give them the character, their backstory and what they should look like,” he said. “After that, it’s up to them.” Shaolin co-founder Elexi Vasquez said Willis approached her to make his vision a reality. “Tanner has always been very creative and so have I, so when he brought up this idea and explained how we could really make this happen, I had no choice but to tell him that I would love to,” she said. Willis said he plans Read more [...]

Local man showcases Texas Board of Education issues, premieres work in New York City festival

in Feature by
Image courtesy of Scott Thurman
May 3, 2012 BY JAMI JOINER and ANDREA GODOY | Ranger Staff The films shown at the Tribeca Film Festival have a more natural feel rather than the commercialized and airbrushed quality of blockbuster hits. Tribeca gives artists the ability to show off their craft at the height of its creativity. Less than 2 percent of the thousands of films that apply to be part of the festival each year make it. This year director Scott Thurman, a graduate of Amarillo High School and Amarillo College, showed the world the product of four years of work with the Texas Board of Education. But while attending AC, Thurman didn’t always know he one day would end up at the independent film mecca. “I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with my life when I started AC,” said Thurman. “I didn’t really get into film and editing until after I started college.” Thurman said Dr. Paul Matney, now the AC president, made a big impression on him in the mass communication department. “Dr. Matney was one of my instructors, and I think he saw potential in me and sort of pushed me to pursue something in this field,” he said. Thurman’s newest project, The Revisionaries, follows the lives of members of the Texas State Board of Education seeking re-election. Members of the board choose the curriculum that students from kindergarten through the 12th grade will learn. Thurman’s film focuses on the board members who are more socially conservative and whose Christian values have a strong effect on their politics. The Revisionaries is not Thurman’s first documentary. In 2008, he produced and directed his first documentary short, titled, Smokey. Smokey follows the life of Stinnett city employee Smokey Binion Jr., who by day performs maintenance and other support jobs for the city, but in his time off performs as an Elvis impersonator. While attending AC Thurman, along with other members of the mass communication department, was approached by then professor Read more [...]

The edge of all you know

in Opinion by
Andrea Godoy Ranger Web Editor
May 3, 2012 Opinion By Andrea Godoy | Ranger Web Editor Every May, I think: “This is it. I am done with The Ranger and Amarillo College. “It’s been a good run and I am proud of what I’ve done, but it’s time to move on.” And for the past three years, I have found myself right back in the newsroom, writing more columns, stories or reviews and complaining. If no one has explained it, editors love to complain. It’s in our very nature. I have held every position there is to have on The Ranger and The Current, and I even have held positions that don’t technically exist. The thing about this experience, like many we all have, is that while you are living it, there is so much that annoys you. Whether it’s your co-workers, bosses or the people you interact with, all of them do something that makes you want to scream and give up. But looking back, those annoyances are what give your experiences character. Without character, we never would grow. If I take nothing away from my experiences here, I know without a doubt that I have grown because of them. I came into this department with no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was terrified. How was it possible that I didn’t know what to do with my life? You see, when I started college, I did what made my parents happy. It was OK. There was only one problem with it: I hated it. I was at a point in my life when I knew if I didn’t do something I wanted to do, I would become complacent, and that was worse than what actually was happening. Now after three years, I am no closer to knowing exactly what I am going to do with my life, and it’s OK. My experiences here have taught me that whatever happens, I can take care of myself and I can do things I never thought I would be able to do. On Monday we began design on my final print edition, and watching it come to life literally gave me chills. I knew in my heart that this was the last time I would be doing this here. Working as a designer gives Read more [...]

Video: Former AC student wins largest private scholarship

in Front Page/Videos by

April 19, 2012

By Andrea Godoy | Web Editor

Former Amarillo College student Jon Alexander has been awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Transfer scholarship. The scholarship, which is available to all community college students that are transferring to a four-year university to complete their Bachelor degree, is the largest private scholarship offered to two-year and community college student, according to the JCK foundation website.

Michelle Orcutt, Phi Theta Kappa advisor and public speaking professor at AC surprised Alexander at his job with the news. Alexander, who majored in general studies at AC will be perusing his bachelor’s degree in film.

This is the first time that an AC student has been awarded this scholarship.

Students face tuition increase

in Front Page by
Graphics by Andrea Godoy
April 19, 2012 By Chad Fewell | Ranger Reporter STUDENTS WHO plan to attend Amarillo College in the fall are facing a tuition increase as another effort to handle budget cuts. In-district students will be faced with a 10 percent increase overall in cost, paying $7 more per credit hour. Out-of-district students will pay $10 more per credit hour, a 9.5 percent increase, and out-of-state students will pay $11 more, a 6.6 percent increase, according to the 2012-2013 tuition and fee proposal the board of regents approved at its regular meeting last month. The increase was amended to include a $1 tutoring fee to help fund the staffing of AC’s Science and Outreach Centers. “We don’t take any joy in it, but we have no choice,” said AC president Dr. Paul Matney “Poverty is usually described as economic hardship, but it’s also got a technical use, and that is to verify where people fall under the poverty line,” said LuLu Cowan, special assistant to the president. During the 2001-2002 academic school year, 3,502 students out of 8,757 received  Pell Grants. Ten years later, during the 2010-2011 academic school year, 6,084 students of 12,149 students were receiving Pell Grants. “The poverty threshold for two parents and two children in 2010 was four people living in a family making $22,113 or less a year,” Cowan said. AC also has opened a website specifically for finding and using resources available both inside the school and in the community. The Benefit Bank includes Amarillo College and community resources – with numbers and specific details needed – and a list of the top 10 student needs, all available on the website. “We created our website to link it to other ones that are more extensive because they’ve already got them up and running, they’re well maintained and they keep them current,” Cowan said. “There isn’t any reason for us to recreate that.” Identifying the top 10  needs involves more than just Read more [...]

Staff Editorial: Kony 2012, social activism for the Facebook generation

in Opinion by
In just 24 hours, one video made the rounds on Facebook, Twitter and various other social media sites and isn’t slowing down. There are no cute cats or people risking life and limb for questionable reasons. This video calls for social activism, to bring down the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, Joseph Kony. The video, created by Invisible Children, wants to make Kony famous, so that everyone in the world can recognize him and make him responsible for his crimes against humanity. In theory, IC is doing commendable work. Allowing a known criminal and violator of basic human rights to go free is unacceptable. But the way they are going about it is not. IC wants to make Kony famous, to have his face and deeds plastered across every major city in the United States so the United States will “advise” and “help” the army of Uganda. IC is directing the video at our generation, the people who can’t go a single day with-out checking their Facebook account. IC believes that by getting the video to go viral, the sheer number of people who know about its mission will cause them to succeed. The thing is, our generation is not the most socially conscious, even something as critical as children being forced into armies in Africa rates about the same to us as some guy burping Shakespeare.  Countless people watched IC’s video and immediately jumped on the “Find and stop Kony” bandwagon. Most, if not all, of them did little to no research about what actually is going on. Are we so easily swayed that all it takes is a video done by a single group with an agenda to cause us all to take to the streets and plaster a man’s face on every available surface? In no way should this be taken as a pro-Kony opinion. He is a horrible man and has committed atrocities that should not go unpunished. What people need to realize is that there always are two sides to every story and the lines between “good guys” and “bad guys” are not as clear as we’d like Read more [...]
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