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Teachingcomics.org

Crafting a Minicomic

Written by Mac McCool Creating a hand-made minicomics gives students a taste of self-publishing and an introduction to book-making. This exercise works for students ages 8 through college-level. In this exercise, students create an 8-panel story. With low-tech instruments (e.g. glue, scissors) or high-tech tools (e.g. Photoshop), students layout their panels in the correct orientation and paging sequence before making copies to share with friends and family.Download attachment:  Crafting a Mini Comic

Image, Text, and Story: An exploration of graphic novels

Written by Rachel Williams Image, Text, and Story: An exploration of graphic novels is an interdisciplinary class designed to help students explore a variety of graphic novels that focus on social issues, personal stories, politics, and war. The graphic novel is a literary form that has grown in popularity over the past thirty years. They provide a compelling juxtaposition of image and narrative.Students will discuss the visual construction and written content in excerpts from a series of graphic novels and cartoons. Finally, students will construct their own graphic novella. Download attachment:  image_text_and_story

Serious Business About Comics

Written by A. David Lewis In 2006, comic book creator and educator A. David Lewis (THE LONE AND LEVEL SANDS) was asked by Fuller Middle School in Framingham, MA to come speak on the graphic novel to a section of their 6th grade (ages 11-12). This fit into the MA educational curriculum framework (their state guidelines) as the exploration of an alternate literary genre as well as the integration of art with text. Having already taken that Spring’s MCAS exam, this interactive discussion on comics and graphic novels was a welcome respite to the students; in advance of the presentation, […] Read More

Practicing Text-Image Relationships

Comics express ideas through both words and images. The comic artist should play with both. That is how you learn to best use these two modes of storytelling.The downloadable exercise handout presents four main relationships and offers images without text so students can learn through practice about combining text and images. For additional information, consult experts such as Thierry Groensteen, Benoit Peeters, or Scott McCloud. They have come up with other words-image categories. McCloud lists seven (Understanding Comics, 153-155; Making Comics, 131-140). Download attachment: 129_text_image

Little Orphan Annie: Leapin’ Through the Depression

Materials Needed (adaptable according to activities selected): Access to internet, paper, printer; white-out; fine-tipped black felt-tip pens; access to Xerox machine; game of Monopoly, form of blank check (instructions included in “Suggested Activities”), copies of Little Orphan Annie comics (reproducible from “Printable Items” or from the internet, or from “Recommended Resources.” Additional resources about the 1930’s and Depression era (media, books, magazines, etc) might also be helpful; a visit to your school media center coinciding with “Suggested Activities” could expand possibilities.

Chester Brown’s Louis Riel

Written by Tom Hart Chester Brown’s commercial career began in 1986 with Yummy Fur, a series of comic pamphlets featuring his ongoing story, Ed The Happy Clown. Originally begun as a series of unrelated humorous comic pieces, Brown tied these individual strips together and continued it as a single, sprawling scatological adventure narrative involving pigmies and pigmy hunters, vampires, angels, saints, extra-dimensional travel, Frankenstein, and an other-world Ronald Reagan attached to the main character’s genitals. It was a black comedy, an understated monster epic, and vivid probing of a single creator’s subconscious through the perversions of many genres. Ed the […] Read More

Barefoot Gen Vol. 1 Study Guide

Written by Robyn Chapman Barefoot Gen Vol. 1 by Keiji NakazawaA Study Guide by Robyn Chapman1.  Gen is a Japanese name meaning “root” or “source.” Nakazawa stated, “I named my main character Gen in the hope that he would become a root or source of strength for a new generation, one that can tread the charred soil of Hiroshima barefoot, feel the earth beneath its feet, and have the strength to say ‘NO’ to nuclear weapons.” How do you feel Barefoot Gen stands up as a protest novel against war and nuclear proliferation?

Mix and Match Rows – Comics Handouts for Younger Students

The Background I’ve taught comics classes for various age groups–as young as second grade, up through college level– and without at doubt, the most challenging classes to teach are the ones with the youngest students. Paradoxically, the very love of spontaneous drawing that makes this age group so interested in and enthusiastic about comics, is itself opposed to the laborious, and often painstaking, process of planning and slow, progressive execution that goes into creating professional comics.

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Schools With Comics Classes

Schools Offering Dedicated Comics Art Programs: The Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah, GA Minneapolis College of Art and Design Minneapolis, MN The School of Visual Arts New York, NY The Center for Cartoon Studies White River Junction, VT Max the Mutt Animation School Toronto, ON The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art Dover, NJ Emerson College  Boston, MA North Wales School of Art and Design  North Wales, UK Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte, NC The Comic Book Art Institute Los Angeles, CA The Independent Publishing Resource Center Portland, OR Schools Offering Studio Comics Art Classes: The […] Read More