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The student news site of Marquette University

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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Dave Hanneken: The professor behind the comics

Hanneken has been a mainstay in The Marquette Tribune this year with his reoccurring comic strip “COLLIDE-O-SCOPE.”

Dave Hanneken is more than just an instructor of strategic communication. He’s an author, cartoonist, Milwaukee native and Kopp’s custard aficionado.

Now, Hanneken is at Marquette teaching the same classes that he took when he was a student at Marquette.

“It’s really interesting to be teaching classes in advertising in the same building, that I took those same classes, in some instances, the same classrooms. It’s really weird but it’s also very surreal to me,” Hanneken said.

Hanneken has been a mainstay in The Marquette Tribune this year with his reoccurring comic strip “COLLIDE-O-SCOPE.”

“It’s how sometimes things collide in life and that’s why I spelt it a little differently. The root being connected to the word collision. A collision of ideas, a collision of points of view. That’s primarily it and it’s just a silly name. I didn’t really overthink it,” Hanneken said.

Hanneken has been an adjunct instructor on and off again for the past 10 years, but this is only his second semester teaching full time. He’s worked as a creative director at a number of different advertising agencies over the past 30 years throughout the Midwest and in Hawaii.

“A good creative director is, in essence, a teacher. Because you tend to have a department of people who have different experiences. Maybe they don’t have as much experience as you and they look to you for guidance or they look to you for lessons. Maybe they look to you for a perspective that experience has provided. And I feel it’s very similar to teaching here at Marquette,” Hanneken said.

Hanneken does more than just ads and cartoons, he’s also a published author. He has written a historical fiction novel titled “Home Front” and has another book in the final stages of development.

“Writing and drawing are both visual mediums. Writing is incredibly visual. Think about any book that you’ve ever written. The author is painting a picture in your mind through words. And if likewise, if you’re an artist, or even if you’re a cartoonist, you’re displaying that image on paper visually,” Hanneken said.

Though Hanneken’s love of drawing goes back long before he ever started creating “COLLIDE-O-SCOPE.”

“Doing the cartoons here at Marquette wouldn’t surprise any of my high school classmates, because I was always drawing in class I was always drawing for them, everybody would give me their high school yearbook and want me to draw a little cartoon. I’ve always loved to draw and advertising was a really great way to sort of scratch that itch to be creative,” Hanneken said.

Andy Haas is one of those classmates from Pius XI High School. Not only was she his classmate in high school but also throughout grade school and at Marquette.

“Dave sees the world through a little bit of a different lens because of his creativity and luckily that gets siphoned through his artwork and his cartooning,” Haas said.

One time in school when Haas wasn’t looking, Hanneken drew a rabbit on the back of one of her notebooks. Haas’s last name means “hare” or “rabbit” in German and Dutch.

“He has just a natural ability as an artist, but he also has a combination of really quick wit, and just a general cleverness about him that makes him a perfect cartoonist,” Haas said.

The notebook art isn’t the only thing Hanneken has gifted Haas. As a wedding gift, Hanneken penned and inked a 24 by 36 replica of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” album cover.

“I still have it hanging in my house. It was such a treasure, and then Mary (Dave’s wife) wrote a poem about us, which is just so cool,” Haas said.

Though it’s been decades since Haas and Hanneken were at Marquette together, Haas said it makes sense that he’s back teaching at his alma mater.

“It doesn’t surprise me that he’s a teacher because I think he’s just naturally a very affable person and a great conversationalist. And when you talk to him, he really listens, you know, an active listener and I was thinking back to him in grade school and his laugh was bigger than he was,” Haas said.

Stella Quinlan, a junior in the College of Communication, is one of the students that has benefited from Hanneken’s return to Marquette, even though she has never been in one of his classes.

“I was initially introduced to Dave through another advertising professor, and since I’ve met him, he’s been an incredible teacher and mentor. I always enjoy hearing stories he has from his years of working at a number or different advertising agencies. He’s really passionate about creativity and teaching, and I can imagine that makes him a great professor,” Quinlan said. 

Though Hanneken said he loves making comics every week, he’d gladly step aside if a student ever wanted to take over the job.

“As long as you want them, I’ll keep sending them. I want to make sure that I’m not pushing a student out of an opportunity. But until then, I’m happy to keep submitting them,” Hanneken said.

This story was written by Megan Woolard. She can be reached at [email protected]

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Megan Woolard
Megan Woolard, Managing Editor of the Marquette Tribune
Megan is the Managing Editor of the Marquette Tribune at the Wire. She is a Senior from Portland, OR studying journalism and English literature. In her free time, Megan enjoys collecting CDs. She is a huge fan of the Portland Trailblazers. This year Megan is looking forward to spending time with other staff members and producing important content. 

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