Learn to
Draw & Write Professional Comics!

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Art of the Comic Book | David Marshall, Instructor

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About This Course

Art of the Comic Book is a goal-orientated, college-level studio workshop for making comics with traditional ink-on-paper media. Exercises are based on real-world assignments. Fundamental comic book media techniques include storytelling, character design, working with scripts, hand lettering, inking with brushes and dip pens, figure drawing, sketchbook practice and group critiques. Technical elements include ruling pens and perspective drawing. Study the comic book industry's current production methods, business environment and history.

When you have completed this course you should be able to do the following:

  • Have a historically-based vocabulary and techniques of comics story-telling
  • Understand how these techniques should be used
  • Use basic media techniques and materials
  • Understand fundamentals of sequential storytelling
  • Apply anatomy, drafting, perspective, page layout, composition, panel arrangement
  • Tell a variety of stories in a clear and interesting manner
  • Develop creative solutions to unanticipated problems
  • Draw on solutions by historical and contemporary artists
  • Work in solo and collaborative projects
  • Objectively critique your work, as well as the work of others
  • Use currrent digital and traditional production techniques
  • Be aware of professional opportunities and presenting your work

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Course Policies & Procedures

Grading policy for Massachusetts College of Art's 'Art of the Comic Book' as taught by David Marshall
Grade Range Grade Description
  • A
  • A-
  • (93-100)
  • (90-92)
Excellent to Very Good; comprehensive knowledge and understanding of subject matter; marked perception and/or originality
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • (87-89)
  • (83-86)
  • (80-82)
Good; moderately broad knowledge and understanding of subject matter; noticeable perception and/or originality
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • (77-79)
  • (73-76)
  • (70-72)
Satisfactory; reasonable knowledge and understanding of subject matter; some perception and/or originality
  • D
  • (60-69)
Marginal; minimum of knowledge and understanding of subject matter; limited perception and/or originality
  • F
  • (<60)
Failing; unacceptable low level of knowledge and understanding of subject matter; severely limited perception and/or originality; absences in excess of allowable limit

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Late Assignments

All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the designated date, unless otherwise noted. Late assignments and make-up work will be accepted up to one week after the due date for half credit. Assignments may not be submitted electronically, except by prior arrangement with the instructor. All writing assignments must be typed.

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Academic Integrity

College guidelines for academic integrity are strictly enforced. Using the words, ideas, or audio/video/graphics files of others, without attributing proper credit to the author, constitutes plagiarism, which will result in failure of the project, and possible failure of the class and expulsion from the college. Students must document the original sources of all material that is not his/her own.

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Course work is very hands-on and students are expected to attend class on a regular basis. Poor attendance will affect a student's final grade in a class as follows:

  • Per college-wide policy, students are allowed two absences; three are grounds for dismissal.
  • Students are responsible for making up assignments and communicating with their instructors regarding missing classes.
  • The college does not distinguish between excused or unexcused absences.

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  • If a student arrives late or leaves early from class, it is noted in the attendance roster.
  • Two late arrivals/early departures = one absence
  • Missing more then 30 minutes of class = a one-half absence for that class.

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Other Course Policies

Students must adhere to all lab rules during class. Food and beverages are not permitted in the classroom. Respect for self, instructor, and classmates is required at all times. Students must turn off cell phones, beepers, and portable audio devices during class. You may be asked to leave the class for any of the events listed below. If you are asked to leave, you will not be allowed to return for the duration of the class and you will be marked absent for the entire class. If the problem occurs again during the semester you will be removed from the course and your tuition will not be refunded. You will be asked to leave the class if:

  • You place or answer a phone call during class
  • You use chat/IM or email software during a lecture or an in class assignment
  • You are listening to a personal audio device during class
  • You disrupt the lecture

Because of the studio nature of this class — as well as student's varying levels of experience — this syllabus is subject to change without notice.

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