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Teacher’s guide chapter 11: Setting the Stage

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11.1 Panel design We’ve touched on composition before, but this chapter is our most in-depth and explicit discussion on the subject. There is a lot of material here, and it would be easy for a student to feel overwhelmed, so you might start the discussion by pointing out the three items that end the first Read More

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Teacher’s guide chapter 10: Getting into Character

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10.1 Developing your character You’ll probably want to assign this essay as a homework assignment and use your class time to concentrate on the activity. Review the points of the essay by mentioning different well-known or fictional characters and asking students to decide which kind of character they are: archetypical, naturalistic, or intermediate. Have them Read More

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Teacher’s guide chapter 9: Structuring Story

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9.1 The narrative arc/9.2 The elements of a narrative arc This is one chapter where you really should ask students to read the essay ahead of time. However, you know how unengaging and dull it can be to simply run over a reading saying “so, did you read X section? Any questions?” We suggest, instead, Read More

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Teacher’s guide chapter 8: Inking the Deal

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General note: this is a chapter with two essays on related topics: inking with a pen and making corrections on art. 8.1 Inking with a nib pen A demo of different kinds of nibs is the best supplement to this essay. You can have the students do a warm-up activity based on the practice line Read More

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Teacher’s guide chapter 7: Lettering

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7.1 Hand lettering Many students are likely to resist hand lettering at first. It’s a good idea to talk about the reasons for it that we present in this essay to get them on the same page with you. It’s great to open students’ eyes to lettering. It’s usually something that just has never crossed Read More

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Teacher’s guide chapter 6: Getting on the Same Page

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6.1: Elbow room Bring in some favorite comics pages of yours or have your students bring in pages they think have interesting layouts. Use tracing paper (or a colored pencil in Photoshop) to highlight reading paths, underlying grids, and so on. Reading Order This is a minor point in the grand scheme of things, but Read More

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Teacher’s guide chapter 5: Penciling

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5.1 Penciling comics This is the first chapter of purely hands-on, technical work. You don’t really need to plan a lecture on penciling, though it can be helpful to do a demo. You can use prepared materials (along the lines of the before-and-after pages we show on pages 53-54), or a set of original pencils Read More

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Teacher’s guide chapter 4: Bridging the Gap

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4.1: Reading between the lines You should make sure your students are familiar with Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, and if they’re not, assign them to read at least chapter three in preparation for this class. You may well have your own ideas about the concept of closure between panels so you should feel free to Read More

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Teacher’s guide chapter 3: The Strip Club

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3.1: A comic a day One way to handle this discussion would be to make enlarged photocopies of the panels we’ve drawn, and then to follow the various steps we outline using the panels on a board. You might also solicit suggestions from students as to what kind of panel might work next, what’s a Read More

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Teacher’s guide chapter 2: Every Picture Tells a Story

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2.1: Word and image You may want to do a version of this section as a lecture, drawing the apple (or other object of your choice) on a board. This will help you control the pace and development of the argument: that the further the text is pushed from the image, the more fruitful and Read More

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