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Homemade heroes

"It's been really successful. The kids are loving it," she said.

The program, created by Dark Horse Comics and Columbia University Teachers College, offers tips on drawing as well as making a plot, and stresses creating heroes, Haegele added.

For Marc's little brother Seth Sanford, 7, creating heroes was not a problem.

"Sweetchip is the sidekick of Potato Chip the boss," he said, pointing to two round brown figures with red hats. "There's Superchip," he added. "His sidekick is Dorito."

Brendan Trump, 8, said his fellow artists inspired Superpancake.

"Everybody was doing food," he said. "This is my second page of Superpancake. He has to stop bad fork and spoon from blowing up the bank. His sidekick is syrup."

Sam Perdek, 10, who had already drawn a comic before coming to camp, said he learned to have a rough draft so he could correct his spelling before the final draft.

"Dorky Don is being picked on by BullyBilly. He's being bullied for four weeks and one day. Then Dorky Don gets help from one of his best friends Billy Bob who teaches the bully a lesson until the principal comes and puts Bully-Billy in detention," Perdek said.

The campers' enthusiasm for their comics may have been predictable, given the overwhelming response to the camp. Thirty-three students signed up for the 20-spot camp, causing Clifton Park's Parks and Recreation Director Myla Kramer to offer a second week of camp. Kramer decided to offer the camp because she was looking for an activity not available elsewhere in town, and for a set of kids who might not be so sports-oriented, she said.

"It's a great experience for the kids. It's a great experience for the staff," Kramer said.

Perdek agreed. He has already planned on writing part two of the Dorky Don series at next year's summer camp.

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