Creating Comics!

Creating Comics!

This workshop will connect students with how to tell their stories with pictures. In a series of 6, 90min sessions, we'll learn the fun and fascinating history of comics and graphic novels, learn how to break down a simple story into a sequence of events, pacing, dialogue and action! Activities will include journaling, storyboarding, drawing and sharing our work with the group. I will be giving recommendations of age appropriate graphic novels and comics for the teens, and I will discuss them during class for inspiration. I will also assign easy and fun exercises that they can complete during the week (no more than 10-30 minutes a week)

Session 1: Let’s get inspired!
30 minutes: Introductions all around. I will show my own work (Published graphic novels and self-published work) I will talk about what got me into comics, and what my typical day looks like.

30 minutes: I will describe what our objectives are in the workshops. 1) To get inspired to make a comic 2) To learn about some of the best comics ever made 3)
To practice our skills and make a short (1-3 page) comic on a topic of our choice.

30 minutes: I will ask participants to talk about what they want to share with their stories, what is inspiring them these days. I will share a diverse reading list of graphic novels and comics to borrow from the local library.

Assignment: A simple journaling worksheet (write a short paragraph detailing an encounter, experience or an inspirational idea) This will be used as the basis of our comic, so this is an important one. Keep it simple!

Session 2: Storyboarding!
30 Minutes: I will ask students to tell me about their journaling worksheet, each participant will read what they have worked on and what they liked, or found challenging about it.
1 hour: I will use examples to show how to break down a paragraph into a series of actions and visuals. We will talk about how to do this with our writing assignment as inspiration. For example, are there parts of the paragraph that they can imagine visually? How would they draw it?
Assignment: Transform your writing assignment into a storyboard! A storyboard is a very simple, pencil line-drawing of your panel layout, using stick figures to sketch out the action, with word bubbles, notes, and ideas written in the margins!

Session 3: Character Design!
1 hour: Sharing the storyboards that each participant made, we will congratulate ourselves on how much we have learned, and discuss what was fun and challenging.
30 Minutes: We will talk about comic styles, using examples from the reading list to show how much variety there is, and to inspire ourselves to create our own style!
Comic style is as varied and unique as the artists themselves. I will show drawings of the most famous comic characters and how to keep it simple.
Assignment: Design your story characters. Draw each character, full body, or an action shot!

Session 4: Final edits, Colour and Shade!
30 Minutes: We will share our drawings and discuss.
1 hour: We will talk about timing, pacing and action shots. I will give tips on focusing on your strengths, and get everyone excited to draw their good copy! We will discuss colour and/or shading and finishing touches.
Assignment: Do a “good copy” of your comic with ink outlines, coloured and/or shaded!

Session 5: Design a Cover!
1 hour: Sharing our good copy of the comics we made, we will congratulate ourselves on how much we have learned, and discuss other ideas and what we learned or want to work on more.
30 Minutes: We will look at famous and wonderful comic book covers from around the world and brainstorm good ideas for titles!
Assignment: Design your cover! Do a full page cover, inked and coloured or shaded!

Session 6: Show and Tell Party!
1.5 hours: We will all share our nice full page covers, and comics, show-and-tell style, and congratulate ourselves! Discuss what we learned, what we loved, what we didn’t like and what we would like to do again

Grade Level(s) 
7 – 9
10 – 12
Teaching Method 
Video conference
Max Number of Students 
Six, 90 min sessions Nine hours total