Now that your students are approaching the final version of their Gag Cartoon, it’s time for some more drawing lessons. Nothing terribly complex, but these simple concepts can make all the difference in the work of a neophyte cartoonist, both in visual appeal and readability.
Ludovic Debeurme doesn’t have a script or an idea of the full storyline before he starts to work on a book. Rather, he starts with visuals and characters and allows for digressions.This way of work helps him to make connections that he otherwise wouldn’t have made.
Hothouse student Lisa Anchin worked intensely this summer toward mastering the language of comics and visual clarity. The first run through of her thumbs felt slow and confusing, but Lisa showed total commitment to revision, as tough as it can be, and remade her story until it’s clear, compelling, downright exciting ride. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
The “pictureless comic” activity, originally from Chapter 7 of DWWP, is one that we use constantly, in formal classes, in intensive workshops, and in casual talks and improvised situations. We once did it in a lecture hall at a comic convention with 200 people! It has so many advantages: at its core, it’s a study of how comics work, the elements of comics and how they work together to create meaning, even without pictorial images. It’s also a great way to learn layout and lettering skills, and to concentrate on those technical skills, again, without distraction. Finally, it’s an activity that anyone can do. Drawing skills are unnecessary (though a design sensibility is certainly a help!).
As I promised last week when I posted 2008 Portland workshop follow up, here’s the syllabus we followed for that class. Looking back on it now, it seems like we probably could have put more detail in there! But the group was so dynamic, and with our (then) new textbook in hand, we never felt Read More
This syllabus could easily be used for a 12-week class as well. It would probably be enough to add a few extra work days, but you could also add back in some of the lessons we cut here, such as 5.2, “Figuring out the figure 1” and 12.2, “Figuring out the figure 2,”
DWWP is a 15-chapter book designed to accompany a typical university-level studio art class meeting three hours a week. However, if you are actually teaching a class like that, you will quickly realize that our book is quite generously overstuffed and there is almost no way you can touch on every single item in the book in the classroom.
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