Creating a Comic Book
Summative Elective Liberal Arts class for Massachusetts College of Art and Design
I'm teaching two sessions of Creating a Comic Book for the Liberal Arts department of MassArt this Fall 2021! Unlike my classes for the Design department, this summary elective in the full time day program is the culmination of three-four years of integrating liberal arts and studio classes. It's the most unique, ambitious synthesis of cross-disciplinary research and media process I've seen in decades.
Students will be exposed to the creative history, storytelling philosophies, and creative application of sequential art. We'll start with early 20th century newspaper strips, quickly going over comic books from the 1930s to present day, graphic novels, and comics from around the world. We'll also cover how even fine art is interconnected with technology, business and production.
Our primary focus is using that research to make comics. Students will begin discovering their own voices through writing, drawing, revising, and developing their own stories. Process is our key component.
Homework and exercises are based on real world experience. Students will work on solo and collaborative projects. We'll be working with traditional ink-on-paper media. Media techniques include character design, working with scripts, hand lettering, figure drawing, sketchbook practice, and group critiques.
Creating a Comic Book is designed for students with some experience, but open to everyone wants to tell stories through comics.
- MassArt Catalog Description
- In Creating a Comic Book, "you will be both students and creators of the graphic novel form. We will begin by familiarizing ourselves with the history of sequential art, from comic strips to superhero comics, from comics to graphic novels.
- "Through a series of weekly in-class and extracurricular sketching and writing assignments, you will also experiment with the form. Ultimately, you will draft, revise, and complete a polished, substantial graphic narrative, with a preface that contextualizes your narrative within the class readings and your personalized research.
- "As you write and re-write your comic, you will draw on analyses of other graphic novels, research tailored to your story, and feedback from your peers and me. This course is especially suitable for students who have studied graphic novels in other settings but is open to all who are intrigued by the endless ways to tell stories through comics."