How to use this site

Welcome to! will help you learn to make, read, and teach comics. It’s the website component of the comics education project of Jessica Abel and Matt Madden, which also includes the comics textbook Drawing Words & Writing Pictures and its follow-up volume, Mastering Comics. However, it’s more than just a companion to the books.

This website is a dynamic resource where you’ll find something useful or enlightening whether you’re a beginning cartoonist or a seasoned pro, an educator or just an interested reader.

Check out some highlights

Don’t know where to start? Why not check out some of our favorite posts from the blog:

  • Make a “foldy” minicomic is a great example of the innovative, often slightly avant-garde activities we like to do with our students.
  • Color in Context is an illustrated essay on a very particular aspect of comics language. It will be as enlightening for comics readers and teachers as for learning cartoonists
  • Adapting to prose, adapting to comics is a broader essay addressing some of the issues Jessica has encountered working in prose and comics.
  • 3-day comics workshop: the Huntington report is an example of the kind of workshop we do regularly around the country and around the world. You get a sense of how the class went and we also share our lesson plans and observations (often with student examples) on specific activities.
  • Guest post: The silence of cartooning We regularly invite colleagues and peers to write posts for us and this one, by Jarod Roselló, is one of our favorites. Rather than share a particular activity, Jarod instead evokes a particular aspect of the teaching experience that fellow teachers are sure to appreciate.
  • The Social-Media for Young Cartoonists Posts are a documentation of the adventures and misadventures of interns Hilary and JP with social media.

How can we help you?

But isn’t just a blog. We have a rich collection of teaching and learning materials, book guides, and other resources on the site. Click the link(s) below that apply to you and we’ll go into more detail. Are you…

  • an educator (in an art school, high school, museum, library)
  • a student of comics (enrolled in school or learning on your own time)
  • a comics reader (long-time fan or curious new reader)
  • a practicing cartoonist (grizzled vet or wide-eyed webcartoonist)

A quick tour of the site has a lot of features. Here’s an overview (and click on the orange tabs above to explore):

The blog

This is where we post virtually all new content, even if it also belongs in another category, like Lesson Plans or Resources. Follow us on a reader or Twitter or FB, and you’ll see everything we do.

Some of the kinds of things we post:


This is a new section that will contain collections of material, for example, a set of posts on a topic like lettering, or a collection of the activities that we’ve published on the site, that might get lost in the blog stream.  We’ll also include links, checklists, and downloads that you can use to teach or study comics; everything from a blank 9-panel grid to use for jam comics to a complete index to both of our books.

Resources: The book guides

Teachers, students, Ronin (independent students) and Nomads (independent students who have formed groups) will want to check out our book guides. These are guides providing assistance for teachers and students using DW&WP the textbook and for Mastering Comics as well. They are divided by chapter, and include things like teacher guide notesstudent prep guides (to help you make sure you have everything you need for your next meeting or class), and examples of student work with critique notes.


Still unsure what you’d like to learn today?

Why not crowd-source it? Check out the suggested articles below.

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