Early in Mastering Comics, Jessica Abel and Matt Madden discuss ‘the Horror of the Blank Page’ (Chapter 2). Every artist who has ever put pen to paper has felt it, and likely some of your students will be feeling it now.
As a teacher, having confianza with my students has always been of the utmost importance. In fact, it’s always been my main priority: I just figured the content-learning would come if I could get my students to trust me. Teaching, I think, is about managing human relationships.
Nick Bertozzi is an amazingly talented and prolific cartoonist, a teacher, and a good friend. I was thrilled when I saw this post about the process he used to make his new book Lewis & Clark over at the First Second blog, and asked if we could repost it here. If you’re in NYC, come celebrate the book release with Nick at Bergen Street Comics on Friday, Feb 25. Matt and I will be there, too!
While I’m pretty decent at writing comics, when I started out writing prose fiction I had no idea what I was doing. Not only that, I didn’t particularly like doing it. On the other hand, I’ve had a number of students in comics classes who are prose writers first, and they all tend to hit certain sticking points. So here are a few observations about turning from comics to prose or vice versa.
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!
My students are never artists, are always timid and shy about their drawing abilities, and have very little or no experience with comics (most of my students say they have never even held a comic book before!). But the jam comic lets us jump right into sequential art in a way that promotes creativity and removes the academic pressure of what my students believe they ought to be doing in a college classroom. I like to think of the jam comic as a kind of secret weapon against the stuffiness of academia: I can pull it out at any moment, in any class, and the classroom instantly turns into a place of play and creativity.
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
We didn’t have this blog back in 2008 when we taught an intensive workshop at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), so we’re taking this opportunity to catch up with some students from that program.
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