Today was the first day of our two-week intensive comics class in SVA’s Continuing Education division. The class will have a table at MoCCA Art Festival where they will be selling and trading the minicomics (their first) they will have made in this class. We have 8 students with a variety of interests and backgrounds and it looks like it’s going to be a great group. I’ll be posting photos and updates about the class here every few days as well as tweeting regularly (notice I have put a Twitter module in the righthand menu).
Here’s the group (minus one) with Jessica at about 10AM Tuesday. Let’s see how haggard they look at the end of all this!
We started the class by having everyone introduce themselves and talk about comics they’ve read recently (list to follow). Then we dove straight into cartooning by having everyone do jam comics (page 13 in DWWP). The basic idea is that everyone draws a panel and then hands the comic off to someone else, who tries to continue the story. We make it more challenging and productive by providing a list of rules, at least one of which each jam has to follow. “Backwards” is easily the most popular (start the story at the end (the last panel) and work your way back the the beginning)) but variations on one word/one syllable per panel rules also turn up frequently.
In the end we had 8 one-page comics to look at. I start almost every class I teach with a jam comic. It’s a great ice breaker and it’s just fun to do (especially when you’re fearing some long-winded lecture about what a great comic Jack Survives is (for better or worse they got that too)), plus you create instant comics by the students to critique and discuss. Last but not least, the jam rules introduce my favorite topic of the creative usefulness of constraints and games.
Here are two widely admired panels from today’s jam comics: