Written by Taylor Kaiser
Photographed by Julia Madden Sears
Sitting across the table from me in Thrift Library, Anderson University business student and creative writer, Coleman Topalu claims that, “Any form of storytelling has merit—no matter what kind of medium it happens to come from.”
In light of this, he goes on to say that he is “big into animation and film and video games.” In fact, Coleman’s biggest writing inspiration in middle school came from the works of Bill Waterson, author and illustrator of the “Calvin and Hobbes” comics, Danny Antonucci, most famous for his writing and animation for the show Ed, Edd, and Eddy, Japanese manga artist, Ogure Ito, and Dianna Wynne Jones, author of Howl’s Moving Castle—a book that Coleman recommends everyone read.
Since middle school, Coleman has found his own voice, his own style, and his own subject, which, when combined, becomes what he calls his “slice of life” writing.
Anderson University, he says, has given him, “an opportunity to branch out and focus on generating original content,” an important experience for him as a writer that allows him to do what he really wants to do: “create a world or create characters that people would want to spend time with or write about places that people would really want to immerse themselves in.”
That world might involve souped-up cars on city streets or boxing rings with old guys who can’t be beat or friends growing up in the shadow of one boy’s mythological older brother, but whatever it is, Coleman immerses himself in the characters, their environment, and their action. To him, he says, “It’s all very real.” This is what Coleman says draws him to write his stories, and it is, indeed, this realness that draws people to read his work.