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!)
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 firstname.lastname@example.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!