Where in Lake County you can see huge 'Black Panther' poster in Ghanaians' style

An original hand-painted poster of the Marvel Studios film “Black Panther” will be on display Friday for the first of many community engagement events hosted by a College of Lake County film studies professor.

Professor Chris Cooling hopes these events will facilitate collaboration between local residents and the artists in Ghana he met while studying West African film.

The artist's interpretation of the 2018 Marvel superhero film is painted on large, stitched-together flour sacks in a style Cooling said was developed in the 1980s by Ghanaians who lacked access to the official film marketing materials and had to make their own.

While over time the need for creating their own movie posters has faded, Cooling met many artists in Ghana who keep the vintage style alive by producing works on commission.

Cooling will share what he learned from the artists and show off other examples at the event, which will start at noon Friday at the Waukegan Public Library, 128 N. County St.

Cooling is on sabbatical from CLC this semester so he can encourage collaboration with the creative people he met in Ghana while on a U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program trip to West Africa. He said he isn't sure what will come from the connections he hopes to forge.

“This is not a top-down project where I tell the world what is going to happen,” Cooling said.

During the trip, Cooling also met Ghanaian filmmakers interested in collaborating with Americans.

“The Ghanaian film industry is not huge. They'd like to be seen as world-class,” Cooling said. “There is a substantial opportunity for people to do collaborative work with these artists. I'm going to keep pursuing this until we've accomplished something.”

Cooling said he will begin reaching out to area high schools to speak directly to young people. Anyone interested in the project can email him at

College of Lake County film studies professor Chris Cooling, left, fist-bumps Ghanaian artist Heavy J. The two met last summer while Cooling was on a Fulbright trip with other professors in West Africa. Courtesy of Chris Cooling
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