On Friday I gave my very first class in C5 (Cogswell College Comic Creation Club) with the assistance of our club adviser Dave Perry. I talked about comic layout, going over some of the fundamentals. I’ve now been working on my own web comic “Unusual Tuesdays” for about a year. I’ve also worked on personal comics before, so I knew a little to start with; however I did a lot of reading before this lecture, really trying to learn about how different people go about laying out the comic. My ‘little’ class (of about 9 students, not so little when compared to many of my real classes) went really well, I talked about how to create a nice easy flow to a comic, how one can use panel layout to emphasize an important moment, and I really stressed that, most important of all, one had to keep the storyline clear and easy to understand. I brought in a whole bunch of comic books of many different genres for my ‘students’ to look at. There were adventure stories, horror, sci-fi, comedy, superheroes, but my main point with bringing them was to show the similarity with how the artists thought about layout, no matter the genre.
We went on a in-school ‘field trip’ where we walked to our wall covered in comics with a dragon painted over them to take a look at all of the different layouts up there. On that wall there are hundreds of pages, most with creative layouts and I talked a lot about what I was seeing up there and engaged my students by asking them what they saw and thought about. They all get an A for participation.
The lecture turned out very well and they all wanted to know when the next class will be, so I’m working up what it will be about. There were requests for writing and pacing of comics, also for strip comics (like the ones you read in the newspaper) but for that I’ll actually have to dig up some new books as I don’t know as much about how strip comics are made. Any which way I’m very excited that it went so well and I can’t wait to teach the next one.
–Amelia Davis, President of Comic Creation Club