Lessons + additional materials

Zero week | Getting started

What is comics, anyway? (Presentation here) We’ll spend the hour working on drawing single actions (like a ball dropping) on stickies, and evaluating what makes a successful action successful.

We’ll also work on a jam comic, which involves 9 different people contributing to a 9-panel comic. Person #1 will establish a “rule” for the comic (like pictures only, no words) and Persons #2-9 will have three minutes each to contribute an additional panel until the story is complete.

Finally: Read Maus (to 43) or Persepolis (to 51), depending on what your class was assigned.

Week 1

Now that we’ve started to think about what makes a successful panel, it’s time to start thinking about action in a strip. (Presentation here.) We’ll do an activity that resembles the jam comic, with each person contributing 4-5 panels to a 20-panel story, and we’ll talk about how to add and subtract actions to make the story more successful.

Also, begin your comic diary in your sketchbook!

We’ll also introduce critique, using videos from Tim Gunn, and do the panel lottery activity from DW-WP.

Weeks 2 + 3 | Narrative

We’ll begin on Monday by talking about the idea of closure, and talking about different types of transitions. You can find that presentation here. We also talked about the five elements of narrative arc; that presentation can be found here.

Homework due Monday, February 14th: Read an excerpt from Haruki Murakami’s short story “On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning,” and retell it in comics form. Pay particular attention to narrative arc, transitions and closure, as we’ve discussed in class. Link here.

Homework due Thursday, February 17th: Retell the Simpsons episode we watched in class in comics form. Pay attention to narrative arc. The episode we watched can be found here:

Week 4 | Panel composition and page layout

Monday: We took a look at examples of creative panel compositions by talking about framing (relationship of characters to reader), blocking (relationship of characters to each other), acting (how emotional are your characters?), and mise-en-scene, (the use of lighting, black/white, creative elements). In class, we re-drew part of your comic diaries and finished the “big comic” project from last week.

Tuesday: We took a look at creative page layouts by talking about different possibilities – see handout. We re-drew part of your comic diaries using creative page layout.

Thursday/Friday: Using this presentation, tell your own story (one from your life or one that’s made up). Pay attention to panel composition and page layout. It’s due on Monday.


Week 5 | Inking

Week 6 | One-week story

Week 7-9 | 8-page comic

Week 7-8 | Final minicomic


%d bloggers like this: