This course is a creative writing workshop in the inexhaustible art of making comics. Open to both beginners and enthusiasts alike, the seminar will expose students to the unique language of comics and allow them to create their own stories in the medium. Through essential critical readings, practical homework, and lab assignments, students will develop an understanding of how text and sequential images create a unique kind of reading experience and storytelling. Over the course of the semester, students will take on a variety of roles in the making of comics (writing, illustrating, page layout, inking, character creation, and more), read groundbreaking comics theory and criticism, analyze now-classic and experimental comics, adapt a variety of prose & verse genres into comics and, ultimately, create a longer graphic narrative project as a group.
Although this is not intended as a course in drawing, all students will be expected to explore comics storytelling through the combination of words and cartoons (don’t worry, stick figures are fine!). In-class reviews will give students direct insight into how certain choices of composition affect the storytelling process. During the first half of the semester, the course will rigorously combine theory and practice, navigating through a slew of different genres (e.g. poem, short story, journalism, memoir, etc.) and how these can be transmogrified into comics form. The second half will be dedicated to the production of the longer comic project.