Wednesday, January 4, 2012

March 1st Course Overview

8 week Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers

The course will focus on making a 16 page comic - which is a "signature" in printing. Week one is choosing a format for the comic and what scale to make the original art.

Week 1

Format Fever / Printing process / What is story? / What images already formed?

One pager exercise - clear action / Fast drawing story composition / Scale jumps

Large drawing exercise / 16 page story first take layouts homework


Week 2

Story Structure / 16 page layouts for story / Grid choices / Fast scale drawings

Editing / Pacing / Figure ground / Is setting clear? / Tracing paper exercise

Contour line simplicity / Landscape exercise / Figure exercise / Building of planes

Faces with blockout color demo

Harmonic grids

Geometry exercise homework


Week 3

Geometry Class / Dynamic versus Static symmetry / Full up layouts / Harmonic grids

Spread harmonies / Fast drawing exercise / Mapping fast drawings / Tintin example

Draw, draw, draw / Backgrounds - find lines with geometry of page

Tracing paper originals - Xerox class - transfer tracing paper to board


Week 4

Color Class / Tracing paper originals / Work up originals / Color thumbnails

Blocking in exercise / Contour line and color / Matisse / Moebius / Drawing in color

What not to draw, removing lines / Grid harmonies relate to color harmonies - music

Color layouts at scale / Color coding / Draw, draw, draw / Abandon idea of "inking"


Week 5

Full up originals / See as spreads - like paintings / Pacing of color

Balloon placement exercise / Coloring through balloons / Color coding dialogue

Executing color "finished" ink lines and color at same / "All on one board"

Draw, draw, draw / edit, edit, edit


Week 6

Editing Lab / Brutal honesty about what works and what doesn't / Corrections pasted on

Lettering exercise / Lettering on separate layer - too much pressure

Words change image / Editing words / Editing image / Late changes work in grid

Covers - front, back and inside covers - part of narrative?


Week 7

Editing Lab / All 16 pages due end of this week / Preparing for print


Week 8

Final changes / Printing / Final Crit


Week one is format fever. Week two is story structure and finalizing layouts. The geometry of the page and spread will determine your layouts and pacing. We will do a lot of fast sketching for the layouts using harmonic grids. Week three is geometry, pacing and figure ground relationships. Scale. Color in week four. Then drawing, drawing, drawing in weeks four and five. Editing in week six and seven - and preparing the comic for printing in week eight.

But! it may turn out you want to do a collection of single images - 16 of them - and they hang together as a narrative. So then we would work on that and how we could find tension between symbolism and narrative of single images. The 16 page signature is the vessel - we just have to figure out how you want to fill it - what story you want to tell. So we can design it together, essentially, in the first week.

For me, the key is the 7 spreads and 2 "covers" that create the 16 page signature. It is like a musical progression - and that is really what the course is structured around. Sort of like a traditional song structure. Something to study, I say!



Class is limited to 10 students.

Application guidelines:

-submit one six page cromic you have written and drawn in the last year - meaning a comic that is AT LEAST six pages long -

-3 figure drawings done on 3 x 5 index cards

-3 landscape drawings done on 3 x 5 index cards

-email me jpgs - not too big - by Feb 24th -



Overseas students are welcome. Last course had two Brits and two Aussies. I can understand French pretty well too.

Course is 500$ for eight weeks. Payment plans are available. I will work with you. Take the course. It is worth it!