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Art of the Comic Book | David Marshall, Instructor

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Art of the Comic Book All-Stars

We Don't Like to Brag

Luckily we don't have to. See how our former students really feel with this selected list of links (directly below), testimonials and examples of their work. If you've particpated in this class and aren't listed here, please send me a note to correct this accidental omission.


“I thoroughly enjoyed taking Art of the Comic Book. It was a refreshing exploration into the skills, dedication and character of a generation of comic book artists who weren't afraid to get their hands dirty with the technical labors of the sequential art world. As an instructor, David Marshall's specificity and passion for traditional material are unmistakeable and infectious. It is always a rare gift to benefit from the talents of someone so generous and available.”

Dudley Bryan Jr.

“Even though Art of the Comic Book was a class completely outside of my major or intended career, I felt that the skills I learned in it were useful and interesting. As someone who enjoys drawing and narrative, learning the technical skills associated with putting images and text together to create a visual story was very satisfying. Also, as a craftsman, I found it very appealing to be learning some traditional hand-drawing comic book techniques, such as the Ames Lettering Guide and how to choose the right kind of Bristol board - even the exercises in ink drawing were satisfying, though challenging. I would definitely recommend the class to anyone interested in drawing and narrative!”

Maryanne Terka Bolalek

“I really enjoyed the course as a whole. Coming into the course, I had assumed (as I'm sure many of my peers also did) that modern comics were entirely dependent on technology. It was both refreshing and encouraging to learn that many artists still successfully embrace the traditional methods. Further, as I learned the art of the comics through traditional methodology, I found myself acquiring a greater appreciation for comics created before the age of digital or computer art. The course was presented in a manner that made it accessible to individuals with limited comic experience yet equally engaging for individuals that may be passionate beyond casual interest.”

Nick Little

“Under Dave's tutelage I learned to produce polished, professional work as well as some valuable industry tips that only a seasoned pro could offer.”

Kristilyn Waite

“I really thought David's course gives comics creators the much-needed practical skills for working in traditional media, which is essential for any artist who wants to tell stories in this great art form. He's knowledgeable and friendly - highly recommended!”

John Hilliard

“I enjoyed David Marshall's Art of the Comic Book class, which was multifaceted, challenging, and also quite fun. Topics were covered in a timely manner (materials, perspective, lettering, critiques, and samples of comics) given the constricts of the schedule, and each student received considerable personal assistance while completing projects. I'd highly recommend this class to comic lovers and artists, who would like to dive into a great experience with sequential artwork.”

Emily Holt



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Examples of Student Work

Small sample of Art of the Comic Book assignments. Preparatory work (lettering and ink practice, sketchbooks, character sketches) are not included, but probably should be. Student experience range is from novice to near-professional.

Personal Fiction: My Day

3 pages. Write and draw a story about your day, focusing on individual details. It could be the entire day or just a segment; the morning commute, an exciting or traumatic event, an interaction with family or co-workers. You could even use fantasy if it's directly related to mundane, observational elements of your real life.

Historical Fiction: Boston

3 pages. Write and draw a short, self-contained story about a Boston event. Story can take place in any historical period. Emphasize research, accuracy and innovation without losing clarity and entertainment. Craft factual events with narrative storytelling elements -- don't have narrator explaining everything.

Work with Full Script:
Zip’s Last Day

3 pages of comics. Draw from an existing panel-by-panel script with detailed descriptions, actions and dialog. Use visual reference (find or take photos, sketch) neighborhood, fashions, cars, etc. Use storytelling creativity to express dense, often conflicting story elements.

Create Full Script: Folk Tale

2 pages, content entirely created by students. Write a full script based on a folk tale of your choosing. Make it your own (alternative time periods, personal details, experimental techniques, a "lost ending" approach, etc.) Provide research, setting and character notes. Approved stories are given to another student to draw.

Marvel Method Collaboration

3 pages, content entirely created by students. Writer and artist create a story synopsis. Artist creates full-size pencil art, adding plot details along the way. Writer then types a script, indicating word placement directly on the pencilled art. Script and pencilled art are given to another student to letter and border, then to yet another student for inking! Listed by title since no one person owns these stories:



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