Posts Tagged Josh Neufeld

Upcoming Graphic Novel/Visual Storytelling workshop at Fine Arts Work Center

Bestselling cartoonist Josh Neufeld and I co-taught a comics-making workshop last summer in at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and it was a really rewarding experience—for us and for our students. We had a great mix of “serious” comics-makers and writers trying out the form for the first time. (In fact, one of last year’s students was recently accepted to the Master’s program at the Center for Cartoon Studies, so we feel pretty proud of that!)

FAWC Summer Program

We learned that nothing makes a better combination than writing and art, summer, and beautiful P-town. So that’s why we’ll be teaching the class again this summer, during the week of July 21–26.

Our workshop is called The Graphic Novel: At the Intersection of Writing and Drawing, and here’s the class description:

In his seminal work Understanding Comics, cartoonist Scott McCloud writes, “The art form—the medium—known as comics is a vessel which can hold any number of ideas and images.” This class will explore the dynamic realm of sequential art, and the ways that graphic novels/comics can produce powerful moments of frisson between words and images. Some find their way to the form through their writing and others through their art—comics allows for both options. To that end, we as workshop leaders offer two perspectives: that of a cartoonist and that of a writer. We welcome confident storytellers in either, or ideally both, arenas. If you’re “just” a writer, we believe that you can learn to draw in a way that will serve your words.

Participants should have an idea for a sequential narrative and preferably some existing notes, scripts, and/or art. We’ll unpack how comics are constructed: from scripting to page layouts to thumbnailing to creating finished art. We’ll explore the ideas and images you bring to the table, and through group feedback generate ways you can hone your vision. We’ll also spend some class time on various collaborative exercises we’ve found useful in producing strong comics work.

Although this class focuses on the comics form, experience shows that the skills we develop translate to many other visual storytelling modes—including storyboards, video games, and even PowerPoint presentations.

Please email a one-paragraph description of your project and what you hope to get out of the workshop to workshops@fawc.org by July 1. In addition, please bring writing and drawing materials.

Click this link to find out more about the program and how to register. We’re very excited to work with a dynamic group of writers and cartoonists to produce some great new work!

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Writing the Future: NCTE Annual Convention

I’ve been so busy wrapping up the History Detectives gaming project (more on this soon) that I am just now planning for the upcoming NCTE Convention. I’m really excited to be on a panel moderated by the educator and author Katie Monnin, who is spearheading a great initiative in getting comics into classrooms. TRANSFORMING 21ST CENTURY AND PRESENT-DAY GRAPHIC NOVEL READERS INTO FUTURE GRAPHIC NOVEL WRITERS will be a hands-on session for educators in reading and writing in the graphic form. Also on the panel: Josh (our first time on a panel together!) and James Bucky Carter, as well as some other amazing creators. I’ll be bringing copies of my Scholastic book Forward 54th!, illustrated by Aaron McConnell, and some other nonfiction graphic novels that I think are worthy of study in the classroom (there are more and more every day!). I’m honored to be part of the National Council of Teachers of English Centennial celebration–with, what seems to me, a very appropriate slogan “we are reading the past and writing the future.”

State of Emergency is due out soon, but I don’t have a copy in hand yet. Still, I like to gaze at Josh’s art on the cover.  I’m proud of our merging of prose and comics forms in what feels like exciting ways.

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